The rushing water cascaded over the edge of the rocks as gravity overtook. The cool clear liquid fell effortlessly over the side of the mountain. With a crashing roar, the H2O fell onto the jaggy rocks below. The soft mist sprayed the back of my legs as the water danced on the rocks below. Then the flow hurried on its journey downstream as if it was racing to the finish line.
My mind travels from the invigorating water at Looking Glass Falls in Bevard, NC, to invigorating lessons from the fall itself. Sometimes, life principles are found in breathtaking experiences. Often, I walk away from nature with a better view of life. Here are four life lessons from gazing at Looking Glass Falls.
1. Don't try to flow backward.
The water moved over the edge, down the side of the mountain, crashed on the rocks, and then continued downstream. It did not try to go backward. It did not try to stay put on the edge peering below. It moved forward.
You or I may be tempted to move backward in life. However, the past is in the past for a good reason. Visit the past, and learn from it, but do not get stuck in your past. Live your life to the fullest by being fully present today.
God's word says to press on toward the mark of the high calling. Philippians three reads, "One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
Keep moving toward the goal. For the believer, this means you are not bound or held captive by your past mistakes. Instead, you are forgiven and free. Therefore, do not stay parked but move freely toward the high calling of your life. Move like water that freely flows over the top, cascading effortlessly and dancing over the difficult stumbling blocks below. Don't let anything get in your way. Why? Because God is within you, and he will give you the strength you needed to move forward. No need to try to flow uphill. Instead, keep moving forward.
2. Learn to let go.
As I watch the water flow over the edge of the cliff, it did not cling to the rock formation. My thoughts travel from the physical water flowing with ease to my own grip that tries to hold on to life's circumstances.
I am learning that sometimes, I just have to let it go. I desire to fix everyone, but it is not possible. I must let God convict instead of my nagging. I must let go of my adult children to live their lives; instead of trying to live through them. I must let a co-worker do their job how they think is best. I am learning to pray and let God work. Friend, when you get to the edge, remember the saying, "Let go and let God." Let go of the past. Let go of bitterness. Let go of pride. Whatever is holding you back from freedom, let to let go.
3. Dance over obstacles.
Do your obstacles in life cause you to stop? Do your difficult places in the journey make you want to give up? I get it! However, as I observe the waterfall, it dances over the rocks in its path. It landed hard but bounced back and continued on its way.
Waterfalls dance over obstacles; perhaps you and I should as well. Yes, we may crash on the jaggy rocks of life. Yes, we will land in hard spaces. However, there are times for dancing, even in hard places. Look for the good. Recognize the blessings all around you. Count them. Write them down if needed. Retrain your brain to see the good in life.
How does one do this? Well, as a believer, we have the assurance that God is always with us. He is close to the brokenhearted. Psalm 34:18 reads, " The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." He is beside you and me in the hard places of life. Psalm 16:18 (NLT) says, "I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me."
We have this assurance which gives confidence in the journey of life.
"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31 (ESV) Friends, this is reason to dance. Dance with the freedom of water that flows over the edge and dances on the rocks.
"O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit. Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." Psalm 30:3-6 (ESV) "You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever. Psalm 30:10-11 (ESV)
You can dance even in difficult places.
4. Roar with a loud voice.
As we stood in front of the waterfall, I could hardly hear the conversations around me. The waterfall roared with a loud voice of its own. Friend, like the waterfall, find your voice and let it rip! :) Speak the truth loudly. Stand up for justice. Share the good news. Let others see Christ in you. Roar like a lion with His passion.
Looking Glass fall was big and bold! It made a big splash (haha) in life. You can do the same. Be bold in your beliefs. Be bold in your steps in your life. You can seek His will and live it out with His strength and confidence. Trust Him. Live boldly.
I do not know if you are on a ledge today. Perhaps, you feel you are on the edge of a cliff. Maybe, you are holding on to the past when it is time to let go. I get it. However, let us flow forward freely without trying to hang on to the past. Let us dance over our obstacles. I challenge you and me to roar like a waterfall. We have the good news of the goodness of our God. You can seek His will and live it out with His strength and confidence. You can live boldly.
"Behold, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."
Isaiah 43:19 (ESV)