8:18

Where the stream goes

Where the stream goes

The stick hits the water with a quiet splash.

In my reenactment of a favorite childhood game, I have chosen a white branch to make it easier to watch (and photograph) as it slips downstream.  In my formative years, neighborhood kids and I would gather at the creek at the bottom of our neighborhood (across the trolley tracks, to be honest) and choose sticks to race.  (Or discarded soda cans.  But enough with the honesty.)

As I watch today’s entrant gliding in the water, I’m struck by how fast the flow is.

But that says something about how we think about streams.

Viewed from a fixed point, creeks seem static.  Yes, there’s motion, but in a kind of virtual loop, like an all-day fireplace video on Christmas.  Volumes pass and are replaced, without missing a burble.  It’s easy to forget that the water is actually on an epic journey.  It is, in fact, in a loop, but an enormous one, involving rivers and oceans and towering, rain-laden cumulus.

I am thinking about all this because of what I read about Jesus and creation:

all things have been created through him and for him. (Col 1:16)

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  (John 1:3)

Note that not only has everything been created through him, it has also been created for him.  Paul adds in Eph. 1:10 that God’s plan is “to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.”  So, to use our stream analogy, water burst forth from the creative power and imagination of Christ.  And eventually, it will flow back to him.

He is the Alpha and Omega.  The beginning and the end.  Not only of the spiritual world, but the physical one as well.

I stand on the bridge and try to connect that truth to this little corner of the woods.  All of this matters to him.  The sunlit stream, the moss-covered rocks, the fallen branches and moldering leaves – they will all find their conclusion and summation in him.  He is the exclamation point at the end of all of this.

And of me.  And the babbling jumble of creating I do in the swift course of time I’ve been given.

I give myself too much credit.  The isolation of the last year has left me feeling more like a tiny tributary than a full-blown stream.  A trickle of connection.  A rivulet of focus and momentum.

But these Scriptures remind me that all things will be a part of Christ’s great summation.  My little efforts matter, because they fit into his larger loop.

Tributaries, ultimately, still feed into the ocean.

Jesus, how blessed we are to know that the world you’ve created is being brought, inexorably, back to you.  And we rejoice to think that our little lives are caught up in that flow.

Reader: Do you have memories of a creek in your past?  Tell me about them.

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Bruce Van Patter

As a freelance illustrator, graphic recorder, and author, Bruce is on a lifelong journey to delight in the handiwork of the Creator. And he’s always ready for fellow travelers.