I’m sure we can all remember the Pocahontas movie scene where she is singing “Just around the River Bend”. Life is a lot like that river with many twists and turns. At times just around the bend, there is a calm moment in life that is peaceful and allows one to feel motivated for what is to come. Other days just around the bend is a series of rapids and every time you struggle to overcome one you are hit by another before you can even recuperate. Sometimes you will get lost in the current and your life will flip upside down like a canoe. That’s when you decide, “Do I allow myself to be lost in a current or do I right my canoe and push on?”. I hope you choose to push on, because just around the river bend is another surprise. There is always a chance that it will be more rapids, but life will never give you more than you can take. There is also a chance that just around the river bend is a calm stretch of water and warm sun rays to warm your overworked muscles.
In South Africa there are many rivers, and one is called the river of Joy and another is called the river of Sadness. There was an expedition to see if a railroad could be built from a city all the way out to the Atlantic Ocean. A man took his wife on this expedition and the more they traveled, the unrulier the terrain became. He decided that it would be faster if he and the men traveled on horseback while his wife stayed with the wagon on a river bank. He told her if he did not return in ten days she was to assume he had perished and head back to the city. After ten days he did not return, and his wife assumed he had perished. She mourned as she packed the wagon and decided to call the river she had been living on, the river of Sadness as she had lost everything she cared about while staying there. On her way back to civilization, she took camp at a different river. As she began to lay down for rest she heard rustling in the bushes. Then out of the brush came her husband and the other men. They had not perished at all and were just simply late returning! She decided then to name that river she was camping on, the river of Joy. Little did she know that the two rivers she had named eventually joined together as one further downstream. The river of Sadness is larger than the river of Joy, yet after they join, the river is still called the river of Joy.
There are many struggles in life, and many surprises around each bend. There’s a chance you will go through many bad days before you reach a good day, but the good days always outweigh the bad. Use the promise of better days as motivation to find better ways even through the challenges that life will give you.
Living to serve