It was as if the river spoke, that first time as a child my eyes locked on the sun glowing across the surface of that deep green shimmering water.
I could hear something I didn’t recognize, in the city I lived in. Here, where trees swayed, the land ached, the earth called…
The waters seemed to recognize my face.
And I saw the reflection of My Maker in the weight of this picturesque place where eternity and carnal life played their great symphany.
As I go older, I skipped along the trails, winding up and down, along sometimes a thick forest, or other times a steep, dirty trail leading to the bridge, that almost gloriously boasted, as it reached across this river.
I imagined I was wild and free, an adventurer, or one of the indians that surely owned this land before us.
All the while, dragging a stick, touching each tree, or laughing with my cousin, peering along to my left where the river seemed to waltz parallel with me…
Never venturing from it’s own course, always contant, dependable, reliably available to my imagination each and every summer as our family came to go camping.
Some trips, my older brother would egg me on, encouraging me to climb some rock along that river, seeming insurmountable as a grade schooler.
He never left me complacent, never allowed me to be the baby in the family who cried or always gave up, paralized or dependant on somebody else for the fulfillment of my God-given dream.
I thank him for that, deeply. And to this day, have a portfolio in my mind of how his courage made my life richer, not afraid of what others seemed to avoid and catagorize as dangerous.
In my late teens, both of my older brothers became raft guides, on that very same river. They learned the eb and flow, and how to bend and shift and steer the large craft, listening to the river, instead of foolishly playing God, like so many do…
Trying to demand their own course.
But, it wasn’t until last year, those same brothers and I gathered a ways down that river, the one where we learned our Great-Grandparents had been baptized after worshipping, doing church, on a sandbar there many decades ago.
It was there, we dunked our father; a man of great wisdom who all these years waited, knowing this place of his father, was the place God called him, to also experience full-water-emersion.
Every one of his children, their spouses, and all the grandchild gathered along this river, the exact same place where church was held once so long ago.
It was there, I could almost see my ancestors singing, dancing, laughing, and praying, praising along this river.
- God is still calling people, asking them to hear the sound, see, not just in the flesh, but to respond to His voice bellowing from the depth of their spirit.
- He is urging us to go to the places we have only dreamed of.
- He is calling His people to do things, believe things placed in them from before the beginning of creation.
- He is asking us to step in, and instead of playing church to actually “do church” in the river.
It is time to stop resting along the shore, being content to just witness from the sidelines, stay stagnant in hope that the freshness and sun alone will somehow just catch us along the way.
His grace is leading us. Not straight, but in a full circle, to that place where He called us, set us apart, as children.
Today, I don’t know where you are, how God has spoken to you, where He was most real to you when you were a little girl or boy….
But what I do know is that His love shines still; bright, fresh, by faith as He beckons you to come deeper into His River.
- Have you experienced His hope and healing?
- Will you let go and trust His flawless current?
- Don’t you know, the river is a place where children abandon themselves with laughter and trust fully because they know the magic of a life filled with hope and adventure there?
It’s not too late. My dad was in His 70’s when he was emerged and stepped into the water. God doesn’t wait until you are perfect. He doesn’t ask for your portfolio of works or goodness. He just calls you to come….
Come to the River. Come to where He is leading.
Step upon that Rock. Have courage. It’s not too late. Can’t you almost just hear it? The rushing river beckoning….
“Just believe”, “I have something beautiful for you”, “It’s not too late”…
“Come deeper into The River”.
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