“The angel showed me the river of life…”
“This river is love.
but a love that does not arise in the human heart.
This river is life
but a life that does not flow from the human heart.
That is because this river,
is wholly other:
it is the self-opening of God.
“The Wellspring of Worship. Jean Corbon
Ko Waitaki te awa.
I was born in a small town on the south bank of South Island’s Waitaki River. My maternal ancestors worked the land just south of the river and my father’s parents and grandparents farmed just to the north.
The Waitaki is my river.
The Waitaki and the other big Canterbury rivers are uniquely braided and the Canterbury plains owe their existence to these meandering waterways which, over a few million years, have spread mountain shingle across the region forming the land that my family call home.
A few decades ago I left this home and in the years since have lived with many other rivers, each of them providing a home and a life to the ancestors of many other families.
I like the image of the river.
Rivers serve to bring life-giving waters to otherwise barren land. Rivers are on the move and water that is not moving with the current soon stagnates.
While some rivers are deep and fast-flowing in an unwavering channel through valleys and across countryside, the braided Canterbury rivers are changeable flowing deep and wide after heavy rainfall and trickling in every direction through a summer drought.
I’m especially fond of these braided rivers of my home since they seem to mirror my own life: somedays flooded, other days drought-ridden, sometimes deep, other times shallow, now with the flow towards a clear goal, and in the next moment trying to trickle across dry stones or even twisting to turn upstream against the current.
The river is life.
And it seems significant that I was baptised in a small town newly-constructed on the Waitaki as a home for those who would build the dams to harness the energy of the river to provide power for the people.
So the image gets even better. God is like the river, and God is my higher power.
You might like to:
- spend time today pondering the image of the river, perhaps remembering a river that has been significant for you, or staying with a thought that came to you as you read this reflection.
- share a comment offering your own thought or reflection. Many people comment that they are encouraged by what others share on these pages. Thanks for the great response in comments yesterday providing inspiration for many.
- send the initials of those you would like FFF readers to remember in prayer to firstname.lastname@example.org