I learned something new today--how salmon are able to negotiate up and over waterfalls.
They do it by turning their undersides from center to tail squarely into the powerful current coming at them. The impact launches them out and further up the waterfall. Mark Nepo likens this to what we do when we live in the open and stay real in the face of our experiences. He says, "We too must find a way to lean into the forces that hit us squarely.....Time and time again, though we'd rather turn away, it is the impact of being revealed, through our willingness to be vulnerable, that enables us to experience both mystery and grace."
He then asks us to think of ways in our own lives this has happened: how did opening yourself cause you to unfold; how did being hit squarely change your life position; and where did leaping like a salmon land you? This is what I wrote in response:
I did not have an "idyllic" childhood, but it built into me a determination to do things "right". Like the salmon I learned to use the powerful current called life's circumstances to propel me onward and upward. I've met my life's challenges squarely on--the disappointments, the set-backs and delays, the challenges--to bring me closer to resting in God, totally. In the process I've learned much about who God is and who I am, and how I am to go on and how I am to be in Him.
The scripture that has been my touchstone along the way has been Proverbs 3:5,6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."
Just as the salmon lean into the current, I have endeavored to lean into God's understanding of what is right. The way I have done that is to lean into Him. He is my living water that propels me through life when it becomes a struggle. This is how I've come to experience both mystery and grace.
Father, may my heart always remain open to You....no matter what....trusting You for everything I need and not leaning on my own understanding of what I think I need.
Link to scripture: 2 Corinthians 1:9