Rafting through life

Have you ever had one of those days, or weeks, or months, or years, where everything you do seems to not work out as you expected? You lay your plans and try to implement them, and for some reason, no matter where you turn, it all falls apart.

I’ve had a few months like that, where it seemed that all the things I was carefully putting together were unraveling. As annoying as it’s been, it’s reminded me that control is just an illusion and that regardless of the best-laid plans, life will do what it wants.

I like to think of life as similar to riding down a river in a raft without a paddle! When things are good my raft is in the middle of the river, floating quickly and smoothly towards my destination. However, for no apparent reason the river may suddenly push it towards the edge, where the trees overhang and the rocks are plentiful.

As my raft continues to move, the low-hanging branches knock me around, we bang into rocks, and all I can do is hang on and try to stay in the boat. At other times my raft and I may end up in an eddy, where we go around in circles and I feel quite stuck. Occasionally the raft and I may actually go over the falls and I might be thrown into the water. When this happens my job is to remember to breathe as I attempt to get to the surface and climb back into the raft.

Whether my raft is floating effortlessly down the middle of the river, or headed for the falls, is often out of my control. My job is to continue to hang on, make sure I’ve done all I can (like wear a life jacket and tie everything down), stay with the raft at all costs, and know that eventually the situation will change.

This is what I’ve been focusing on these past several days, and as I move into a new week I can already feel my raft coming out of the eddy and once again moving smoothly down the river.

As much as I’d like to think things happen in my time, I‘m reminded once again that everything has its own time. So I have faith that the eventual outcome will be what I need, and persistence and tenacity are what will get me there.

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