Flowing Down the River

            I sat on the bank of the Ohio River in a little park in Troy, Indiana, a very small town in the southern part of the state. At that point, the river is wide and flows with purpose. This spot, one of my favorites, is only a few miles from the monastery where I was making retreat. The spiritual symbolism of watching water flow was enough to justify my leaving the grounds and spending time at river’s edge.

            On a sand bar about a hundred yards upstream were two young men fishing. They were accompanied by a little boy who ran between them, checking their lines. Farther downstream, seated on another bench was a young woman with her daughter.

            Mostly I was reading, but each time I looked up I could see branches and logs floating in the water. Of course, I wondered what their stories were and just how many miles they had drifted along. And would they make it all the way to the mighty Mississippi without getting hung up on something?

For a few minutes I was distracted by a peculiar object floating well out in the river. I raised my binoculars (for I was also on the lookout for interesting birds) and much to my surprise I saw a tire happily gliding along - not an inner tube, but the tire itself. Its center was filled with debris almost like a stuffed donut. That, too, kept on going until it was out of sight.

            Although I had hoped to see a tugboat pushing a barge, none showed up that afternoon. Mostly, I just watched water flow by. It seemed it would never come to an end. Thank God!


“Now to him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine,

by the power at work within us,

to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations,

forever and ever. Amen.

 Ephesians 3:20-21


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