I’ve got a story for you...
I was spending a hot summer Saturday with a bunch of friends adventuring around North Georgia. After meandering and hiking, we zeroed in on a honey hole spot someone in our group knew about. “It’s got rapids and waterfalls,” he said. “It’ll be fun,” he said.
That was all my crushing heart needed to hear. I was in it to win it. We parked and made our way back to the rapids. It was beautiful, quiet and entirely ours. In less than a minute, we were all in the river swimming, laughing and having fun. There were small waterfalls sprinkled throughout the rapids. Maybe 2-4 foot drops into deeper pools. So of course, everyone started jumping off those into the colder, refreshing pools below.
After watching everyone in my group take a turn, I quickly took a deep breath and jump in too. My feet hit the bottom of the pool and I pushed to kick back up to the surface. Only... I didn’t go anywhere. I had accidentally jumped straight into the waterfall current and was stuck under the pressure of the falling water. I began to panic trying to get out from under it but couldn’t. Hysterical thoughts of “I’m going to drown” and “why isn’t anyone helping me” started taking over. Then a calmness settled over me and I heard a voice inside me say “Whoa. Calm down. You’re caught in the current. You have to get out of it. Kick to the left or to the right, get out of the current, and then kick up.”
In my heart, I knew that voice was God speaking to me. Helping me. I followed the instructions. As soon as I moved to the side I realized I was out of the current and was able to kick to the surface. I crested the water sputtering, spewing and gasping for air. Cussing my friends for not paying attention or realizing I had nearly drowned.
I was spent. Physically and emotionally. I lay on the riverbank the rest of the afternoon listening to my friends having fun but unable to partake. I contemplated how sometimes all that’s needed to come out from under a waterfall of life’s circumstances is a simple shift to the left or right.
The past few months have been challenging and difficult for me. The tension in relationships. Misunderstandings. Hurt feelings. I’ve felt like I’m stuck under that waterfall all over again - panicking. So I’ve spent a lot more time out on the trails processing my thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Connecting with God and nature. I realize the current of life is inevitable. Sometimes it’s swift. Other times it’s gentle. How I deal with life’s current, though, is entirely up to me. Fight it. Float it. Stay out of it. It’s my choice. It’s all part of the adventure.
How do you deal with life’s current? How do you find your peace?
See you out on the trails!