You know those moments when you hear a phrase of some sort and it stops you in your tracks? It often happens to me when I’m reading and I’ll underline it. Sometimes it’ll get transferred into my notebook or journal, but over my lifetime, it’s few that lodge into my brain for future recall. I do love those (the good ones, at least), especially when they pop back to the forefront right when we need it. It’s certainly the benefit of memorization of scripture, so that we can “bind them on (our) heart always” (Prov. 7:3).
Recently, my husband was watching The River Runner documentary on Netflix which is about a group of hardcore kayakers taking on some of the most dangerous spots in the world. I only caught bits and pieces as I walked through the room, but towards the end I stopped for a watch because of the stunning beauty and sounds. The subject of the documentary, Scott Lindgren, was reflecting on his life-changing experience of having been diagnosed with a brain tumor and how it changed his perspective and the way he approached things. He said, “I tried to control everything in my life. And once I realized, with my tumor, that I had no control over that, I just surrendered to the flow of life.” Now, I know the dramatic music playing to the slow-mo wave crashing action played a part in my having the “stop me in my tracks” feeling, but I took that phrase, “surrendered to the flow of life”, and visually applied it to my own life.
One of the areas I continually try to weave into my everyday mindset is practicing being mindfully aware of the thoughts and feelings that might try and set up shop in my mind. Generally, these are the stinky or condescending ones and I’m often unaware of their impact. Sometimes though, I can notice them and try to visually let them float down the river in my mind. Yes, I’ve created a safe, cozy little creek in my mind and the thoughts or emotions can be labeled on a leaf that bobs on down at its own pace. Because of this cozy creek of mine, I can see why the powerful river analogy felt so profound.
As I’m typing, I’m reminded of my trips to Adventure Island as a girl. I absolutely love water parks, but I’ve never been keen on too high or too fast, so I was never a Tampa Typhoon type of gal. Even with the simple slides, if my bathing suit bottom picked up a notch in speed, I was pushing out my arms to slow my roll. It was an automatic response to when things felt out of control. How similar that is to moving through life! The weaving pattern of life is similar to gravity on a water slide; we can do our best to slow things down or hide away from trouble, but it’s just plain inevitable that we will keep moving. Are you even aware of how often you’re trying to push off the slippery sides of life? I found Scott’s statement so profound because it felt so freeing. In fact, just a few sentences later, he said, “I no longer try to control the outcome to anything. I just show up with my heart. And it gave me so much freedom.”
So, as usual, this post serves as nothing more than a personal reflection that I hope may help me with more awareness and maybe be encouraging to someone, somewhere, in this World Wide Web. May we both begin to practice surrendering to the (inevitable) flow of life.