The River


Driven by the forces of the river.
Drifting through the bends.
Destined to be deposited into
the vast, open sea where uncertainty begins.

A longing makes its lodging deep inside,
afraid of where I’m going,
longing for what I’m leaving behind.

I call out,
“River, stop this instant.
Throw me upon your banks.
March me back upstream
where I hadn’t the slightest clue
I was drifting away.”

But the river refuses to yield.
Gone are the comforts of forest and field,
with treetop blankets and grassy meadows
to hide me beneath their shield.

The river continues to lead me
down the winding bends,
where it’s led countless before me
and where it’ll lead countless others
time and time again.

But that is not my concern.
I want off this flume boat ride,
Everyday my heart yearns
to be free from the forces of the tide
And able to call my own shots,
free from the ever-approaching
ticking of the clock.

Instead of enjoying my time,
grateful for the opportunity
to lounge upon the river
and gaze upon the beauty it winds me through,
I fight, cuss, and use up all my might,
hoping to be delivered,
straining with every ounce of energy
to make it back upstream.

But my tries are futile.
I notice how much farther I’ve floated
down the river, but experienced nothing.
Beauty has passed me by –
my eyes so fixated on the past,
that I’ve been oblivious to the present.

I resent you, despise why you
have to move so fast,
why you leave me bound like a ship-wrecked sailor,
clutching to a weak, weathered raft.

As much as I try,
you never seem to dry up,
but keep pushing me on by
the people, places, and memories
I want to sit with and visit awhile.

And sing with together to the beauty of a song.
But before we even get to the first chorus,
I look up and notice they’re all gone.

River, if only I could become oblivious
to where you’re leading me.
If only I didn’t feel the vastness
of the mysterious sea
surging in your every move.

Maybe then I could appreciate the ride.
Maybe then I could notice the beauty around me,
instead of clinging to the realization
that I’m going to die.

But I do know your destination
and that changes everything.
I can’t divert my eyes
or distract my mind from the truth –
my heart beats every moment,
silently searching for the fountain of youth.


Photo Credit: joncandy via Compfight cc


  1. Powerful imagery. A much more vivid picture of the old cliche: “Stop and smell the roses.” But do take time to enjoy the journey as you travel down life’s river. Sometimes there are rapids that threaten to take your life. That’s when God whispers, “Trust me. I’m here to navigate for you if you’ll just give me the oar.”


  2. Thanks for the advice! It is in those moments when I want control of all the navigation instead of turning my will and life over to God that life’s river is the hardest to ride down.


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