The Lake

While waiting to meet with a prospective client, I sat in my car and looked out over a small lake. It’s artificial, made in the middle of a business park. Despite that, it was pretty. And then my thoughts drifted toward my River analogy. (If you aren’t familiar with this, look at the top bar on this page for The River.)

Here’s what struck me about the River and the lake.

The lake is a body of water with a life span of its own. Unless there is some sort of spring or independent source of water, the lake will slowly dry up over time. Like the River in my analogy, the lake has a starting point (A), when it was made, and an ending point (Z), when it disappears.

So is there really any difference? Absolutely yes, there is a difference. The difference points to the value of the River as an analogy.The difference is movement, the current of water that represents the flow of time. That movement means everything. Time travels, just as the water travels in the River.

Thus, you can begin to detect a clear difference in the nature of change. Change happens in the lake. A new lake is strikingly unlike a mature lake. That’s change. But in a River, the change is dynamic, flowing, shifting, and, what’s vital, intimately connected with and bound up in continuation and continuance. You can remember the River’s movement and the change and continuity therein. You can’t recall either the change or the continuity in the bygone days of the lake.

I’m glad I spent a few moments waiting by the lake.