Throw a twig in a river. If the twig is buoyant enough and the river fast enough, nothing can stop it from continuing on its way. The twig may slow up near rocks and other debris but it will continue to be tugged along. Even if the twig gets caught, a big rain or other piece of debris will push it back into the flow of the river and back on its path. The thing is though, the twig will never get anywhere if it is not first thrown or dropped in the river. It has to get wet first. And then, only after it takes the plunge, is it able to start letting go of the things holding it back. A stick with a lot of leaves on it will get stuck more often. It needs to shed it's appendages and just be a simple stick floating where the river takes it. Nothing to catch unto rocks and piles of sand. And have you ever heard of a stick caring how fast it went down the river? Nope. Only when we use them to race down the river do sticks need to be faster than other twigs. Twigs, as far as I know, go where the river takes them and don't worry what other things pass it up while it is on its way.
There are other twigs even that get into the river but they never let go of the shore. They are in the river, part of the river even, but they are not flowing in the life of the river. These twigs are content to perch in their comfort zone, seeing the same surroundings all the time, while the life of the water runs by with other twigs that are enjoying the party. (see the tiny twig stuck on the shore below?)
Sometimes the twig that is the fastest in the rapids gets passed up in the calm areas of the river. It may even start going backwards. Those twigs will also get down the river with the help of the breeze, another stick, or more water coming its way. Twigs are not consistent floaters. They can be the fastest and slowest stick in the river all in one day. So, when it comes to twigs you can have all kinds; slow and steady, helpful, fast and free, and stuck on the shore. The possibilities are endless since each twig is so unique...
Sound familiar yet? Let me clear it up for us, we are all twigs. We are all unique with our own unique journeys. But we all have to be willing to commence our journeys by plunging into relationships with God. God is a mighty river who carries us to our many adventures and who will always be flowing around us. We just have to willing to let him strip us down to our souls and perfect us to be more like him. The more we are molded to be like God the more effectively we float and the more effectively we get to our many destinations. We need to let go of our desires and our plans, our comfort zones and our stuff, to be streamlined for our journey with the Lord. We will get where God takes us if we trust in him enough but the question becomes, "how hard will it be for him to get us there?" What are we holding into that is tripping us up? What leaves are we clinging to as comfort blankets?
Don't be content to sit on the bank of the river either, believing in God, but afraid or unable to take the plunge with him. Jump in! Get off the edge and immerse yourself in the adventure. There will be rapids, there will be calm... but it will never be boring. Don't let God's abundant life run past you without being a part of it. And don't care about your speed in life. Look to God, not to your left or right, to determine your progress down the river. Other people may appear to be moving quicker than you. Don't covet their lives. Others may be slower than you. Don't judge them or compare yourself to them to boost your ego. Instead be a person who bumps them to keep them going, a person who helps free them from the debris that is holding them up and clouding their lives.
Remember, your life is unique. Don't compare your walk with other people's. Ask God where you should go next and accept his grace and help when you are the one stopped in the water or even going backwards. Allow others to help you when its your time to need uplifting and aid. Be a part of nature, of the body or believers, around you. Be okay with the cycles of life in the river. Just don't be ok with not being in the river. Be an adventurous twig and be content with the rapids, calms, and debris that comes with that. Let God work on you to be an more effective floater, a more effective Christian, and get excited for all that you're going to experience and see by willingly taking the plunge into life with God.