Mountain Creek

November 17, 2009

This is an image of a beautiful mountain creek we saw last week in Asheville.  I saw this creek on two different days under two very different circumstances.  
The first day did not look anything like this picture.  When I first saw this creek, it was pouring down rain, and it had been raining for days in Asheville due to Tropical Depression Ida.  The creek was not peaceful and calm; rather, it was raging and moving rapidly.  We could not see the rocks pictured above on the first day we saw the creek because the water level was very high, and the water was murky due to the churning and rushing waters.  I was with my parents, son, and daughter on the first day I saw this creek.  When we briefly stepped out of the car at one point to look at the creek, I struggled to admire the view.  I was so fearful of my inquisitive 2 1/2 year old son somehow falling into this creek and being swept away within minutes.  Both my parents and I had all eyes, ears, and hands on Brady to make sure he did not dart away from us.  
Three days later, on the way home, I took my husband along the same route my parents and I had driven to see this same creek. On this second day, the creek was calm and peaceful.  The water trickled along.  The water was clear.  All of the rocks and boulders were in plain sight.  When we got out of the car this time, I actually took my son down to the creek’s edge. He was able to dip both his feet and hands into the water.  He could stand on the bank and hurl rocks in without my fear of him falling in.  It was easy for me to stop and savor the moment and the beauty of this creek!  I could notice God’s presence here.  
Same creek- two totally different experiences.   God was present in both the raging waters and peaceful creek.  I had trouble savoring the raging creek because my fear of what could happen to my son.  The water was moving fast, the water was murky, the rocks could not be seen.  Things were changing too quickly.  It was much easier to stop and savor the moment and God’s presence when the creek was calm and peaceful and the water was clear.  I could see every rock and boulder.   
 Isn’t this like our lives?  There are times when it is easy to stop and notice God’s presence when life is calm.  However, when life gets hectic or things happen in our lives that create fear or unrest, it becomes harder to notice God’s presence and work in our lives.  But God is there in both! 
How can we find God in the rushing, raging waters?

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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