I wake up to many thoughts and questions in the early morning hours when I would probably prefer to be sound asleep, if I didn’t know any better, but I do know better. I’m not new to the fact that the whispers of my Creator come in the hush of the darkness, before daylight, before business. I also know why. It is at this time that my mind and body are most surrendered and willing to move beyond the natural into the eternal and receive in a deeper realm. I know too, that I am not alone at this hour. Many awake to the still small voice and assured presence of a God who knows no space or time. It is a privilege.
So, when faced with what appears to be a philosophical question, with one ear on my pillow and the other towards heaven, I tuned in deeper.
Am I a river, a well or an ocean?
I knew the answer immediately and was more eager to find out from others how they saw themselves. This might have been one of my favorite questions to ask of all time. I may never stop asking.
Here are just a few samples of what some of my friends said:
I would lean towards ocean because I think I unite large land masses (ideas) and am full of experiences (as oceans are full of life) and depth. It’s not always safe out here, where you can’t see land and not everyone is comfortable with that much freedom. I like the expanse of an ocean and the sense of adventure in it. - Mike
At first glance of this question, I’d have to say a “river.” A river’s source is from somewhere else, it feeds into other tributaries as it moves toward its final destination. Particularly after seeing footage of the recent floods, a river has a destination, it’s moving toward something and it cannot be stopped. – Ken
A well goes deep, a river is constantly moving and ever changing, and an ocean undulates in a gentle manner and touches nations. I am an ocean. – Eden
Others offered their answers in the definitive with no explanation:
A river –Bruce
Definitely feel like a river –Gabe
An ocean –Tim
Some leaned towards their answer:
A river, I think –J
I’m probably most like a well. –Lottie
Some were not sure at all and will have to think on it a bit longer before deciding.
This subject fascinates the philosophical geek in me. I love all of these answers and can’t wait to hear more. But mostly, I love where this question takes us. How it makes us look at and appreciate our place in this world, while helping us study how well we all relate to the healing power of water in any form it takes.
Water is necessary for life and so are we.
A well provides a pure source of water from beneath the ground. To access this water, wells are drilled deep into the bedrock. People are constantly drawing from wells and it causes folks to gather. Well water is worth the effort to retrieve, but not everyone can manage that effort. Wells require work.
A river flows smoothly, until interrupted by nature. It rises and falls, expands and extends. It can be an endless source. People are drawn to rivers for rest and relaxation. Rivers can also go beyond their boundaries and overtake dry land.
An ocean can have boundless energy. It roars at times with high tide and passively paints the sand ever so gently during low tide. An ocean can incite and excite the senses. People are drawn to the ocean mostly for its wonder and expanse. It is unpredictable and fascinating all at the same time. Some, who cannot swim, are afraid of the ocean because it can be so powerful.
When I was younger, I was an ocean, probably more for my unpredictable nature than anything else. I felt boundless and strong. I was good at being an ocean but not necessarily for all the right reasons. On my high tide days, I challenged the world and everything in it. On my low tide days, all I wanted to do was to be a part of the landscape with little effort. I was often overwhelmed with my own vast interest and I didn’t know how to begin or end. The creative in me will always be drawn to the ocean. I believe that’s where it all began for me.
There are days when I miss the energy that I had then and the excitement with listless freedom I displayed. But through adversity, much pain and loss along for the need to be hidden and grounded, I have become a well, for myself and those who are closest to me. I’ve learned how to be subtle and quiet and I’ve traded my boundless energy for rest. Being a well has allowed for me to become more thoughtful and disciplined. I consider a thing more before moving or speaking. My quiet days far outweigh my outspoken days.
I love spending time with the rivers and ocean friends in my life however because they bring a new experience to my underground existence. My river friends feed and comfort me. My ocean friends stir up the creative in me and provide an escape. I need them both.
Perhaps, when I begin to travel, I will revisit my ocean season again. But if not, I am content in being who I need to be for the purpose that it serves my time on this earth. After all, it is well with my soul. Get it?
So now it’s your turn.
Are you a river, a well or an ocean?
Take your time and get to know you. There is no wrong answer…