My Take: Touching the Present

by Jennifer Haynie @JenniferHaynie1

In rivers, that water that you touch is the last of what has passed and the first of that which comes; so with present time.

—Leonardo da Vinci

When I pulled this quote for a meme this past week, it really got me to thinking. What is it all about? It’s tricky, but I’ll do my best to give my take. Rivers move. They may not seem like it, but if you gaze at one long enough, you’ll see things moving on the surface like twigs, leaves, or branches. Currents also exist beneath the surface.

A river is always on the move, and from our stationary point of view on the shore, water is moving away from us or toward us. We also have water that is right there with us, where we have the ability to touch it and feel it. We can scoop it out, drink from it, play in it, but it’s fleeting for just a moment before it goes downstream.

We can also look at time in the same way. Like a river, it flows. The past is like that downstream water flowing away from us. We can only look at it until it’s out of sight. Our decisions in the past have influenced where we are in the present.

And then, when we look upstream, we see the future, what’s coming toward us. Yes, we can plan what to do with the future, just like we can plan to play in the water coming from upstream.

The tricky thing is that just like a free-flowing river, we can’t control time or past and future events.

We touch time in the present. It is at this point, this moment in our history, where we can exert some sense of control. Yet our control is small and fleeting. Basically, it’s limited to our own decisions. How will we respond to someone’s words? How will we react to some event that’s out of our control?

Does it make me feel small? Absolutely, but it’s also freeing in a way. It frees me from the notion that I have to play God. No, God doesn’t those futile efforts to control our lives. He wants our trust. He wants us to stop fighting the currents that may impact our lives and instead trust that He will guide us through.

Maybe that’s what da Vinci meant.

God wants us to stop fighting the currents that impact our lives and instead trust Him. #Authenticity #Encouragement #Rivers Click To Tweet

Question: What are your thoughts when you look at a river?

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