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Caught up in the current?

Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life. (James 1:12)

Woodrow Wilson reminded us, "The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it." It is often when we are caught smack dab in the middle of the current of life's drama that we first recognize the 'forcefulness' of where we are being 'directed'. We don't realize we are being 'sucked in' until we are squarely caught up in the mess life is handing out at that moment. Once we are caught in the current of the drama, it is much harder to get free of it than it is to prepare for the 'current' ahead of time. 

We all know life comes at us at speeds in excess of our perceived ability to 'keep up with them'. We feel overwhelmed at times - life is challenging on most good days - ramp up the challenges and it is easy to get caught up in the current and 'carried away' by the difficulty. Most boaters will acknowledge there is a need to understand both the depths of the waters you launch into AND the way the currents of that water flow, come together, and diverge again. Currents are like that - they aren't always going in one direction - they sort of 'come together' at some point, creating a type of 'whirling' action that can set us in a totally different direction.

A good boater will study the waterways before launching into them. The depths and hidden outcropping of rock, sandbar, and waterway hazards are studied. The currents are mapped out and the path to take is planned. There is a lesson for us in their intense preparation - life's currents are less likely to get us 'caught up' and 'spun around' if we prepare for them, too! We will meet challenges - we don't have to be caught up in the drama they produce. The drama is part of the challenge, but we don't have to succumb to it when we have prepared ourselves to recognize it for what it is - a distraction meant to get us into the center of the current.

Believe it or not, many families have these 'currents', but they seldom recognize just how easily these currents can 'spin them around', heading them down a path that is marked with multiple hazards and further challenges we aren't prepared to meet head on. Maybe the best we can do is ask God to teach us the 'currents' of our family dynamics. Many work teams are caught up in all manner of 'relationship issues' that manifest in not having common goals, seeking to one-up each other, and undermining the work being done. The currents are there, but we don't have to be caught up in them. 

I guess the hardest thing we can do is this prep work - so we are ready to face the challenges head on. The easiest thing we can do is to allow God to guide us through those 'navigable' spots, so we avoid those currents in the first place! Just sayin!

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