The River: A Factor Not In The Water

Sometimes you just don’t, or maybe can’t account for all the factors in any given situation. A canoeing trip illustrated this to me in a big way. I’m paddling down a river, doing a solid job of working with the current and navigating around various obstructions. Then, I encountered something I hadn’t thought of or prepared for–coming around a sharp corner and entering a section with few trees on either bank, I ran straight into a strong wind. The wind blew my canoe right across the water’s surface. I got stuck along the right-hand bank. After several minutes I freed myself and continued on down the river.

The river of history and of life is exactly the same way. You can think that you’ve accounted for everything, have it all under control, and suddenly a factor will emerge that hadn’t occurred to you. Or, even with foreknowledge of the factor, you can’t deal with it ahead of time–you simply have to sort out the consequences.

Being on the river is about the wind as much as the water.