“When you stretch, you don’t make it happen simply by trying harder. You must let go and let gravity do its work. You give permission, opening yourself to another, greater force. This is not just true when it comes to stretching. As a general rule, the harder you work to control things, the more you lose control. The harder you try to hit a fast serve in tennis, the more your muscles tense up. The harder you try to impress someone on a date or while making a sale, the more you force the conversation and come across as pushy. The harder you cling to people, the more apt they are to push you away. … for deeper change, I need a greater power than simply ‘trying harder’ can provide. Imagine someone advising you, ‘Try harder to relax. Try harder to go to sleep. Try harder to be graceful. Try harder to not worry. Try harder to be joyful.’ There are limits on what trying harder can accomplish. Often the people in the Gospels who got into the most trouble with Jesus were the ones who thought they were working hardest on their spiritual life. They were trying so hard to be good that they could not stop thinking about how hard they were trying. That got in the way of their loving other people. …here is an alternative: Try softer. Try better. Try different. A river of living water is now available, but the river is the Spirit. It is not you. … Don’t push the river.” John Ortberg
“Faith does not need to push the river because faith is able to trust that there is a river. The river is flowing. We are in it.” Richard Rohr
“… rivers of living water will flow from within them.” John 7:38
Moving From Head to Heart
- Is “trying harder” your default mode – are you constantly “pushing the river?” Is that working?
- What exactly would it look like for you to “try softer?”
- What might you discover by trying softer?
Abba, help me stop pushing and striving and trust the river to do it’s work.
For More: The Me I Want to Be by John Ortberg
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)