I am traveling through this journey called life with the opportunity to experience many adventures which allow me to grow in my spiritual development. Sometimes what we believe will happen, is not the way these events unfold. This is one tale of my life.

Rickety Bridge _ southern vermont

I was traveling towards a river that I knew I would have to cross. I didn’t prepare for it because a part of me did not want to accept this challenge. I thought that if I ignored its possibility, perhaps the river would just dry up or my journey would take me a different route, but I could hear its very rapid movement as I came nearer. When I reached the river’s bank it was much wider and more threatening than I had ever imagined.

Summoning all of my strength, I decided to call on God for his help. I asked him to please create a miracle in that he would either calm the river for me to swim across or else show me an alternate route. I promised that I would not question his answer, to please just show me what to do.

When I finished my prayer, I caught the glimpse of a bridge out of the corner of my eyes. I turned my head and there was a beautiful little old bridge which crossed the river. I slowly walked towards it and hesitated a bit as I took my first steps onto it. Remembering my promise not to question, I continued onto the bridge. When I found my confidence and began to eagerly step ahead, the bridge began to shake. It began to crumble and fall apart right beneath my feet. I continued to grasp and reach out for the parts of the bridge that remained, only to have it all break off as I plummeted into the raging river.

I desperately searched with my eyes for any debris which might support me and help me to withstand the currents of the river. Everything that I tried to grab for being just out of reach or slipped out of my hands when I reached for it.

In my confusion over the bridge giving way and nothing around that could help me, I began to give up. I could not believe that God would throw me into this river without also giving me a way to get to the shore. I felt that I was not going to make it and I would be drowned in this river. I faced the possibility of my death and I felt myself getting weaker. I began to let go and give way to the currents of the river. I realized there was nothing outside of me that would be able to help me and I stopped looking for debris to support me.

Then I turned my eyes to the shore, which was within my view. I began to slowly gather myself together and tried to get my arms and legs to coordinate to make the movements like swimming. At first, the attempts were pretty feeble and it didn’t make any advancement for me, but at least I was not drowning. Slowly my arms and legs began to work together and I started to make progress and the shore was getting closer.

As I was swimming, I realized that when I reached the point where my feet would be able to touch the bank, it would not be solid and it would still take some effort to reach the shore. When I did get to the shore, I would be able to stand up and when I did, I would look back at the river and I would know that I had crossed one of the most difficult parts of my journey so far. Behind me would be my life as I knew it, the lessons I have been privileged to have learned. Before me would be the rest of my life and with it the lessons I will be learning.

The difference is that the river had changed me. When I let go of the dependency on other things to support me and I turned within for my strength, I found where my strength was. There was no power outside of myself that was able to help me. The power was within me and a part of me and not to be projected as a separate entity.

I found there would be other rivers to cross in my lifetime, but I was not afraid of them. I knew that I would not be consumed by them, nor would they destroy me. I am a much stronger person as I continue this journey called life.

*This story was originally published in the September 1993  issue of Beyond Astrology newsletter and has been slightly edited to fit for publishing today.