What comes to mind when you look at this photo? Do you simply see a person standing ankle-deep in the rushing waters of a cool Michigan stream, or is there something more?
I doubt my daughter realized the impact this photo would have on my heart when she captured one simple moment in time, but each and every time I look at the water swirling and rushing past her ankles I am overcome by a similar rush of emotion.
This photo speaks to me. It reminds me of the times that the turbulent waters of life threatened to pull me under or, at the very least, cause me to stumble and fall. It brings to mind the moments I struggled with depression, feeling like everything in my life was rushing by at warp speed while I just sat and watched. It takes me back to days of towering piles of laundry, overwhelming schedules, unpaid bills, and the crushing realization that I probably wouldn’t have money for groceries that week. It represents every situation that left me wondering if I’d ever be good enough, wise enough, or tough enough to stand strong while the waters of life swirled and rushed around me.
But then it hit me…
This photo represents more than just the rushing waters of the stream.
Do you see those legs and the two feet (look closely)? If you look closer, you’ll see that this photo also represents stability, strength, and will. Without the stability of the foundation, the rushing water can easily cause us to stumble. Without the strength of our body and spirit, the raging and swirling stream threatens to drag us under and hold us down. Without will, the water becomes our master, and strength and stability have little value. You see, the water will continue to rush, ebbing and flowing with the storms of life. After all, that’s what streams of water do. But what about stability, strength, and will? Sometimes… well, sometimes we just don’t have it in us. Right?
Or do we?
Just as the rushing water dictates the direction and swiftness of the stream, the choices we make in life dictate our preparedness for the ebb and flow of its waves. When we take control of our thoughts and our actions, we create a foundation of stability. When we discipline ourselves to repeatedly engage in activities that bring about positive results, we create strength in spirit, mind, body, and life. When we refuse to be held captive by negativity and lies, we instill and inspire a will to not only survive, but to thrive – even as the rushing waters of life swirl around our ankles and the undertow threatens to sweep us off our feet.
Is it easy? No, but anything worth having requires some level of sacrifice. Is it worth it? For me it is. It’s up to you to decide how you look at the picture.
I'd love to help you take your next step forward through the rushing water of the stream. Let's talk.