About a month ago, I went to Arkansas with a group of guys from Missions Resource Network to help facilitate some small-group Bible study at World Mission Workshop. Harding was hosting the workshop out at Camp Takodah. During one of our breaks, Lanny (an MRN guy) walked down to check out the river, which had been dammed up to create a swimming area for campers. When he came back, he shared the following revelation with me:
Life is like a river. Sometimes it moves so slowly that you can't tell it's moving at all, unless you can watch a leaf or a twig swirling lazily across the top. You know the currents are flowing, under the surface, but the river doesn't seem to be in any hurry. Once the water gets past the dam, when the force of the river is released, it's rushing movement is powerful, unmistakable, unstoppable. The change can happen in an instant, without warning. And once it does, there's no going back, no slowing down, until the river changes again.
Lanny was trying to bring me some encouragement. He was telling me to enjoy the slow pace of my river, that quicker water is ahead, and it will be exhausting and dangerous and have me wishing again for something slower. Enjoy the slow water? I rolled the eyes of my heart. Slow water is boring. I like the fast river. The white water. The adventure. The rush of danger. I nodded my head, thanked him for the insight, and quickly dismissed it.
A couple weeks later, during a week of fasting and prayer with my team, I got an email from Craig. It was three sentences long.
"We stopped to pray for you. As I was praying for God to fill you with his peace, something told me to take this video for you. We love you!"
Here is the video he sent.
I watched it five times. I stared at the screen. Lanny's words of encouragement and Craig's prayer for peace collided. Life is like a river. I let the thought sink into my soul, and with it, a promise was whispered. The promise of change. The promise of a rushing river. The promise of white water. It can happen in an instant, without warning.