The River: Not All Currents Flow Forward

Let’s revisit my river analogy. Check out my blog index for a full description of it–look under “River.” Now, I’d like to elaborate on the current. A river’s current does not always flow forward or ahead. There are things called “eddies.” An eddy is a part of a river where the water actually pivots and flows backwards in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise motion. At the end of the motion the water will, or may, enter back into the mainstream of the current. But until it does, however, the water in the eddy can just continue to move in a circle. An eddy chews into a bank and causes substantial soil erosion.

Your life can act just like an eddy–circling, stuck in a pattern, out of the mainstream of where you want to be but with a large amount of change occuring inside the eddy. Some eddies simply need to happen. Others don’t. Only you can know and feel and act upon the difference.

An eddy isn’t always bad. One time on a river I was headed toward a faster moving rapids but my canoe was lined up wrong for entering the swiftly moving current. I managed to see an eddy and get my canoe into it, did a complete 360 degree turn, and re-positioned my canoe to move successfully through the rapids. The eddy helped.

Still, you need to be very careful with eddies. That’s part of your challenge in going down the river. Get caught in the wrong eddy at the wrong time and you’ll need extra time and energy and effort to get out.

History can be a very good guide in knowing how to deal with eddies, whether on the river or in life.