Sunday, January 6, 2008

Wade in the Water

Wade in the water
Wade in the water
Wade in the water
God’s gonna trouble the water
--traditional song performed by Sweet Honey in the Rock

I’ve alluded to this already, this idea that I’m on some kind of a river trip that (so far) hasn’t felt like white water rapids, but definitely has a strong current that keeps me moving. There are days when I try to pull myself out of this river, and I reach out for a branch along the bank, only to have the wind blow “just so” keeping me from getting a grasp. I go between a feeling of allowing myself to just "be" in this current and float along on this trip because to swim against the tide results in a tiring struggle, and a distinct understanding that I’m not in control of the journey. But then, when I've resolved to stay in the current, I see another branch, and I remember that I fear getting my head underwater, and I so reach toward the bank again so I can get ahold of a tree limb, scramble back up the water’s edge and go back into the forest.
And then the breeze comes, the branch moves, the water’s current speeds up just enough to prevent me the escape.
In this sense, this is how I believe God is “troubling” my water. Webster’s dictionary notes as its first definition of trouble: “disturb in the mind; worry, annoy”. I have felt changed in the past few months since my father’s death. I feel as though his death was the initial plunge into the river and it’s caused me to re-examine life, my life. And when you start shifting and changing your being and how you are in the world…well, for me at least, this has brought about some “troubling in the mind”. The trouble has come in the way of questions: what I should be doing with my life? Have I used all my talents to their fullest? What more am I supposed to do? And where is this river going? Is there a waterfall ahead and I’m headed for a plunge?
With these questions has come a jukebox of (I suppose) theme songs for the river trip. Most of these tunes are straight out of the Episcopal Hymnal (do you know what it’s like to wake up with “For all the saints” spinning over and over in your head?!) I was relieved this morning when I didn’t have a hymn on the brain. As I contemplated the spacey new age song that was there, I had an image of the number "515". I thought, “Oh, great: I’m sure that’s “God is working his purpose out” again!” When I looked it up in the hymnal, it was much more rattling: a tune I’m not sure that I know, but the first verse I believe was the point of the "515" message:
Holy Ghost, dispel our sadness;
Pierce the clouds of nature’s night;
Come thou source of joy and gladness,
Breathe thy life, and spread thy light.
From the height which knows no measure,
As a gracious shower descend,
Bringing down the richest treasure we can wish,
Or God can send.
For me, this feels like the hymn should be punctuated with a “So there!”
The river takes me along another turn, continuing on this long, unhurried drifting in the sunshine. And the warmth I’m feeling from the suns rays reminds my "troubled" mind that this is a much better, happier place than where I’ve been.
I’m beckoned to relax.
Trust the tide.
It’s OK.

1 comment:

MCG said...

You've started my week with a little more hope. I treasure the way you explain your feelings. It helps me go forward because I am feeling the loniliness of loss. I hope that my travel along life's path for me, I shall feel less troubled.

MCG