The River of Life: Grandma Ham's Wisdom

One beautiful Indian summer day, when I was a small boy of nine or ten years, Grandma Ham and I were sitting in rocking chairs on her porch. Our family had recently undergone a family crisis. In her best story telling style she told me, “Buddy, life is like a mountain river, sometimes it runs still and smooth, deep and peaceful. But you can be sure that downstream there will be rapids and perhaps even falls. And then it will smooth out again for a time. Our challenge is to accept whatever the river of life hands us, doing our best and always knowing we are never left alone and comfortless by our creator. We should always remember -- this too, shall pass.”

The River of Life

Life is analogous to a river that each of God’s children, born into this life on earth, has chosen to experience. Firstly, let us accept that the River knows where it is going! If this becomes a “knowing” (stronger than a belief) it is an easily made decision to go with the flow! Because of our earth-bound educations, unless we accept this knowing, most human beings become “human doings” and resist or fight against the currents of life. Our human directed educations teach us to deal with life’s adversities by overcoming them by whatever means and energy it takes, thereby giving validity to the problem.

A Course in Miracles has taught us that every time we have chosen to view any life event as a problem, we can choose again! Lesson 193 in the Workbook is: All things are lessons God would have me learn. If I accept an event as a problem it is adversarial to my best interests and I must defeat it -- often at great expense of time, energy, and material resources. The other option is to accept the event as a lesson God would have me learn and the negative event is transformed into a blessing. If I decide it is a gift I have had a learning experience and avoided victimhood, which is always a choice.

The event is analogous to a large rock in The River of Life -- it is an opportunity to use Divine Guidance and have a positive learning experience rather than an event reducing joy in my life.

Quality of life improves as we travel down life’s river with a minimum of effort -- going with the flow rather than paddling upstream.