Recently, I was accused of swimming in a stream that is not the main one. I have to say, I have never thought about that idea very much before. Though I am not entirely sure of the author’s motivation in making the comment, after a few days of reflection, I think my response is one of appreciation. This insight has opened up a whole new set of possibilities for me and my relationship with God.
See, I didn’t choose which stream to swim in, God chose it for me and said, “Hey little fishie, swim there.” All I can do is proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which God reveals to me through the presence of the Holy Spirit. All I can do is read the Bible, study the tradition, seek experiences with the living presence of Christ, and reflect on all of this using the gift of my rational mind. That’s all I can do. And when that is said and done, God says, “Look! Here is Andy Bryan’s stream. Swim and be happy, my little fishie!”
“But God,” I say, “This stream does not appear to be the Mainstream.”
“Not to worry; do not be afraid,” replies God. “It is yours. And it is a very nice stream. It’s where I want you to be for the time being.”
So, why is my stream not yours? I just don’t know – moot question. But I would like for you to show me. I want to hear about your stream, and why you swim in it. I am sure it is lovely! I know it must be, because I know that mine is. Will you let me tell you about my stream, and why I am swimming in it? Maybe after our conversation, I will decide to leap over into your stream, or you will decide to leap over into mine. Or maybe a little bit of my stream will spill over into yours and a little bit of yours will spill over into mine, and we’ll keep on swimming.
The only time I’m ever going to tell you that you may be swimming in a bad stream is if you are hurting other fishies in some way. Maybe your stream has been polluted or been dammed up or someone has built levees along the side and tried to steer its flow. I don’t know. But I do know that if your stream hurts others, this little fishie is going to say something about it. Likewise, I expect the same from you. If my stream is hurtful in some way, please let me know so that I can do something about it.
Too cheesy? Maybe a little bit. Oh, who am I kidding? This post is cheesier than Lambeau field on game day. But the metaphor gets the idea across, I think. And what’s wrong with a big fat cheesy metaphor every now and then?
God chose this stream for me; it may not be the main one, but it is mine. And I am going to swim here at least for a while longer.