Elbert Hubbard once said, “The path of least resistance is what makes rivers run crooked.”
It’s a beautiful word picture, is it not?
Imagine, if you will, flying into the Sacramento area. Think of the great rivers twisting and turning below you–the water seemingly still, thousands of feet down, farmland pressing against it–quietly unassuming. It’s breathtaking, really. We understand that the only reason a river runs crooked is because something stronger than rushing water stood in its way. Something mighty refused to be dissuaded by the water pummeling it. Rivers do not have the presence of mind to fight what is in front of them–they simply bend to the whims of the earth, to those things which are stronger.
People are like that. To our detriment, I think. The momentum of life propels us forward and off we go. Rushing this way and that. Turning right and left, around this mountain and that rock, falling into crevices molded by waters of the past. And while a rushing river, cutting curves through the countryside, is a beautiful thing, a bent and crooked person is not.
Where did our fortitude go? Our ability to stay the course when obstacles stand in our way? Where is our faith in the God who moves mountains? These are things that must be recaptured. We cannot afford to give into fear. We should not avoid giants. Someone must fight them.
If not you, then who?
My kids need to see that their mom is a mountain climber. A giant slayer. They deserve an example of strength and tenacity. They need to see, in me, a refusal to bend to the whims of this world. They need to know that I will not compromise who God has called me to be simply because something dark looms ahead. They need to know these things because, one day, a mountain will be placed before them. And, who knows? Perhaps, at their prayerful request, God will move that mountain.
But, on the off chance He’d rather them conquer it, my kids are going to know how to climb.
See, God knows we need a win now and then. We need the emotional and spiritual rush of seeing earthly things defeated. If we continue to avoid the mountains in our lives, we will never, ever be climbers. If we skirt our way around the stomping giants, we will never be fighters. And, if we dance our children around the obstacles in their lives, they will never learn to appreciate the taste of victory.
How dare we take that opportunity from them? From each other? Let us not be a people who fear the mountain, but let us seek to conquer it. Let us be brave. Let us be strong. And let us leave behind a heritage of victory. Let’s show our children what that tastes like.
Cause if they never taste victory, how can we expect them to crave it?
So, here’s to victories–big or small–and to mountains–moved or conquered. Our God knows just what we need and promises not to forsake us.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel…” –Isaiah 43:2-3