I went to the river to find beauty. I was hoping to catch an intensely beautiful sunrise to salve the sting of a bitter disappointment. But the dense cloud cover from a brooding storm made the event a royal let-down. The resignation in my heart spoke first.
‘Par for the course’, I thought. Have you ever seen a young child disappointed? Unfamiliar with the possibility of failure a child makes his plans without a remote consideration that he might not get what he wants. When I see such a child watch the object of his affection slip away I can barely tolerate it. ‘That kid needs to toughen up’, I like to think to myself. You just can’t be so vulnerable.
How quickly the ambivalence of cynicism rears its ugly head against desire’s fearlessness. Excuses spring up like weeds. Sour grapes.
Two swans sliced their way across the river without a ripple — one directly behind the other. I immediately thought of God and me. I so wanted the swan in the back to catch up to the leader, to experience the intimacy I desperately long for. As I watched the gliding race, the gap between the swans would shorten then widen again without warning. I watched in frustration, until I understood the truth. The point of my life is not how close or how far I feel from God. The point of my life is that I follow Him. Wind and current and a hundred conditions I can’t explain can pull and push and pressure me to give up hope. But like the swans I saw on the river, the glory and grace of my journey is to glide along with my eyes on Him. As I turned to leave the two swans were resting in the shallow water together — face to face.