Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Are you a River or a Lake?

The new years always brings a time of contemplation and reflection for most people. And while my new revelation comes at the beginning of the year, it stems more from the situation I find myself. In my occupation, I often have to think of ten different strategies to help ten different individuals acheive the same goal. However sometimes I can shortcut that by coming up with a metaphor or symbolic imagery. So while I was thinking (and also daydreaming since I have an attention span of a 5 year old in meetings) of how to motive my team for the home stretch I had this image of a river and a lake. And then it dawned on me that this idea of being a river or a lake can be applied to my life as well.

So your probably really confused at this point and thinking I'm on drugs. I assure you I am not, although I did just have coffee which is my drug of choice. Let me try to explain my thinking. When I think of a lake I see a majestic body of water with the warm summer sun reflecting off the surface. While beautiful and peaceful, it is stagnant. Sure it may get bigger or smaller if there is rain or a drought, but where is it going?

On the other hand a river is a flowing element that is ever changing. When the river comes upon an obstacle it finds away around or through it. As a kid, my dad use to take me to this park with a little creek. I loved to try and make a dam with sticks and rocks to see if I could stop it. After much effort building a baracade the flow would stop and the water would begin to pool behind it. However, this was always I game I lost as the stream would eventually break free by finding a way around or the force or volume of the pooling water overcome the baracade.

You see where I am going with this? It is easy to be a lake. There is comfort in consistency and sometimes we need that comfort. However, being stagnant does not allow for growth (spiritually, physically or emotional). By choosing to be like a river your life is continually advancing....forward progression. And sure there are going to be some obstacles (like that little kid building a dam), but like the river has proven patience and persistence will uncover a way to overcome.

I could take this metaphor into eight million different directions, but I'll keep it simple....keep moving, forward progression.


1 comment:

  1. Well said... you've become quite the philosopher these days... must be all that over-education.. let me know when you're ready to start talking overthrowing the patriarchy... :)