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Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Like a crack on wall, my thoughts grow bidirectionally and wander not-too-beautifully. An attempt to see through the other side of this wall - until it breaks...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Live the river, swim the life

Sitting around on a lazy Sunday afternoon, my mind was forced to think on something I saw, I heard, I smelt and I felt. I saw the sky, heard the noisy mechanical engines gushing the road below, smelt the ‘still very fresh’ flower and felt this strange urge to wonder over my life. Why is my life a life? What is my destiny? Who would be responsible for it? Am I responsible for my future, a part of my life? But I did not create my life, then why and how am I responsible for it. But if not me, then who?
The thoughts I thought:
The best analogy that I think is the analogy of "life as a river". Lets take it up this way, we choose our destinies before our birth and it is analogous to standing on top of a very high mountain and looking down upon a vast system of rivers and choosing which river to undertake. From the vantage point of being on top of a mountain, we can get a good view all the rivers from their beginning to their end. As in life, each river has a number of forks and branches to choose from. Some rivers are more challenging while others are less challenging. Some rivers are very dangerous and can lead to disaster. But no matter which river of life we choose before our birth, the river will always carry us back to the sea. This means we are all predestined to eventually return to God.
But once we begin our journey down the river of our choosing, we have many choices which are not predetermined. The destination is set, but the method of our journeying is up to us. We can cruise down the middle of the river at top speed, or we can hug the shore and spin around in eddies. We can crash over rapids or chart a safer path between obstacles. We can slum along the bottom in the mire and slime of sediment, or we can glide along the sparkling surface where the air is clean.
The river is ours from birth to death. How we'll navigate it is determined by the hundreds of small choices we make each day. To discover our mission in life we must see challenges as opportunities for growth and then face them head on. Each challenge measures our strengths and progress. Even when trials cause pain or sorrow, we must look for new lessons in the pain and ask God for the power to learn and to grow from it. Suffering focuses our attention on what matters most, and with God's help, we can strengthen our spirits by learning patience, tolerance and love. These lessons learned, we become co-navigators with God. But when unlearned, we go into the eddies, spinning around, making little progress, even blaming God for our unremitting suffering.
We shouldn't mistakenly believe that the circumstances of our youth can set an unchangeable course for our river of life. Life is dynamic, and the river stretches and bends as we go. A bad beginning does not inevitably lead to a bad ending. In fact a bad beginning can give us strength to create a good ending.
But whatever the size of the ripples we make, one thing we must learn is to be grateful for whatever trials and gifts our Creator gives us in the journey. Let us be grateful for our childhoods, even for the negative ones. Let us recognize that life is what it is, and that we are all doing our best. We all volunteer for our positions and stations in the world, and that each of us is receiving more help than we know.

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