The beautiful McKenzie river originates in Clear Lake in the Cascade mountains. It flows out of the lake big as life, and tumbles down the mountain over rocks and around curves, following the path of least resistance. Occasionally it goes into free fall over cliffs in a spectacular display of beauty and power. Once, it even goes underground for a few miles, only to reemerge in a pool of crystal clear, startlingly blue water.
The McKenzie river is a good example of what the Bible calls living water—water that is moving, displaying life wherever it goes. Jeremiah the prophet tells us not to forget our own Source of living water–God. He tells us not to think of ourselves as static cisterns filled with stagnant water. He speaks of the futile effort of carving out a cistern that will inevitably crack. This is othing like the life you are to live. Jesus referred to this analogy when he offered living water just for the asking. Here’s how the book of Revelation describes this living water:
Rev. 22:1, 2
“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
Could there be a better description of life itself? Think of yourself as a drop of living water proceeding out of the throne of God, straight from divine Life. Like the McKenzie river, you flow through a beautiful forest, each leaf you pass is meant to bring healing for the nations and situations that you are encountering. The Bible begins and ends with the promise that you have been given dominion over all the earth, so a throne of Life would be a fitting symbol for your origin. Everything you touch is meant to be a blessing and healing.
Clear Lake in the Cascade mountains is clear as crystal. You can see way down to the bottom of it when the sun shines just right. Like the McKenzie river flowing out of Clear Lake, when you get a sense of your spectacular origin, you get a better sense of the possibilities of your daily life.
The thing about a river is that it moves. To a water drop following its course, there’s no stagnating, no repetition in the day to day. The river flows in new country, each turn bringing the fresh and different. Sometimes it flows freely and strongly. Other times it pools behind a big obstacle. Sometimes it plunges over the edge, only to recoup its energy in another pool below, where it gains strength and then moves on down the mountainside. If it goes underground, it reemerges more pure and beautiful than ever before.
Revelation is inviting you to take the events of life more freely. The invitation is not just to stand on the shore and drink, but to think and live from the point of view of the river. Doing so, you feel the freedom. You take life with far less fear and more joy in the journey. Obstacles to your fulfillment become simply rocks to flow around, and the big losses and setbacks are like waterfalls, startling perhaps, but preludes to beginning anew with greater strength and understanding.
“And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”
Being one with the river, you are always where you need to be, doing what you need to do. You are about your Father’s business, as Jesus said. Comparisons with other drops are useless. They are doing their part and you are doing yours–both perfectly right.
Mary Baker Eddy writes of three kinds of progressive attitudes: self-knowledge, humility, and love. Being a drop of water in the river of life, flowing freely through life’s events, leads to self-knowledge. Learning about the life of the river, you naturally learn about yourself. One of the names for God in Christian Science is “Life-harmonious.” Like the river, musical harmony always flows. It is the changing chords and colors in music that make it beautiful. And yes, the river is constantly moving on down, down, down toward the sea—a good example of humility. Humility doesn’t seek recognition and high praise for itself. It bows before something greater as it flows steadfastly toward the ocean.
Mary Baker Eddy writes,
“The baptism of Spirit, or final immersion of human consciousness in the infinite ocean of Love, is the last scene in corporeal sense. This omnipotent act drops the curtain on material man and mortality. After this, man’s identity or consciousness reflects only Spirit, good, whose visible being is invisible to the physical senses…”
Consider being a drop of living water, flowing out from God, expressing all that God is, moving in the channels of God, beginning in Life and ultimating in divine Love. Take this “clear as crystal” explanation freely, and let your life refresh and bless and flow fearlessly from, through, and to God.
Miscellaneous Writings. page 205