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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: River (08/31/06)

TITLE: Experiencing The Living Waters
By Peter Kelly


The imagery of water is seen throughout scripture, from the terrible flood of Noahís day to the symbolic river of the water of life found in the very last book of the Bible. Jesus spoke of streams of living water that will permanently quench the thirst of those who drink it. Who is not awe-struck at the sight of a mighty ocean or a raging river? Who does not relish the peacefulness of a babbling brook or a still pond reflecting Godís wonderful creation? Water, the preserver of life, the cleansing agent of nature, the symbol of rebirth in the faith of the new believer.
In Canada we are blessed with an abundance of fresh water. Here in the verdant Kawartha Lakes district of Ontario, lakes, rivers, and streams surround us. They provide sport and recreation for visitors and locals, alike. The very word Kawartha conjures up images of our land, an Ojibwa word meaning Land of Shining Water. As I sit by our local river, the Otonabee, watching some people fish and others swim; I am inspired by the symbolism of Godís Word. His Word is the mighty river of life. Dare I ask what your relationship is to this river?
Some sunbathe on the banks of the river, forever admiring it but never venturing nearer to it than to dip in a toe to test the temperature. They let others get wet and then question them on their experience and live vicariously through it.
Some wade in up to their knees, occasionally perhaps, up to their waist. They truly enjoy the river much more than the sunbather but do not want to get caught up in its current lest they are drawn away from the peacefulness and safety of the bank.
Some swim out from the bank, immersing themselves for short periods of time in the cool, refreshing water. There is a glory to enjoy as they break the surface, calling to the wader and the sunbather, letting them know what they are missing. Their calls will fall on deaf ears for those at the bank did not bring towels or a change of clothes. They are not prepared to experience the river today Ė perhaps tomorrow or the day after that?
Some are divers. They come loaded with equipment so that they can experience everything the river has to offer. They want to plumb its depths, missing nothing, enjoying every last detail. They know that no matter how familiar they become with this silent world, they will always find new treasures each time they experience it.
How would you describe yourself? Are you a sunbather, a wader, a swimmer or a diver? When you have answered honestly, let me challenge you.
If you are a diver, encourage the swimmer to join you below the surface.
If you are a swimmer, take the hand of the wader and lead them to deeper water.
If you are a wader, try to persuade the sunbather to occasionally wet their feet.
If you are a sunbather, do not block the path of those trying to reach the river.
But above all, let us aspire to be divers.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Donna Powers 09/09/06
This is very nice! I love the ending, as it encourages us all to exhort those around us to experience God on a deeper level.
Rhonda Clark09/11/06
I love how you compared the Chirsitan walk to experiencing the river. Good work.