Lately I've been swimming against the current. While most people are winding down toward a more relaxed summer schedule, I have been gearing up for the equivalent of retail at Christmas-time. This is the cycle of my job and while it is challenging, it is also invigorating. . . a personal challenge that comes with a huge sense of accomplishment. Nevertheless, I'm going against the current; and some days the current forces me backwards or knocks me off my feet. It's tiring.
It's interesting to think about the ways we respond to the currents. Some people try to always "go with the flow". Others think that going against the "flow" is the only meaningful way to live life. Still others think the most important thing is to stand in one place, to be an immovable object that water flows around. There are even some people who just decide not to get in the water. (I have to add a quick tip for parents here: think about which category your child fits into and compare it to your own. You may discover a whole new way to understand your relationship!)
Whatever your natural inclination may be, the water will always prevail against you. You can go with the flow but eventually, you'll get stuck in an eddy and go nowhere. You can fight against the current for a time, but you will always tire before the current does. Digging in doesn't work, the very ground beneath your feet will erode as you plant yourself. Even staying on the bank is no guarantee - rivers rage, hurricanes blow, banks collapse and you're right in the water with everyone else.
The water will always prevail, but we can rely on, even call on, the one who prevails against the water. On behalf of Moses and the crowd who accompanied him on the exodus, God first turned a river to blood, then parted the Red Sea, and later caused water to flow from a rock. Water, while inevitably stronger than humans, can be harnessed by God.
God harnessed water and comes to us as living water. We are baptized in water and spirit and given eternal life. So float, swim upstream, plant your feet in the mud or just stay on the bank. . . God can prevail over the waters. . . and will. . . just ask!