The Lazy River and Going Against the Current

July 4, 2012 — 3 Comments


It’s been sweltering lately.

In an effort to cool off, Sara and I took Lylah to the water park in town, Rosedale Rapids. It was her first time and my first time as well. The park is perfect for parents to bring their young children. We had a blast!

Lylah is able to sit up on her own so we were able to do many fun things with her in the park. By far, the best thing we did was go through the lazy river. It’s basically a long pool that winds around in a serpentine loop with a slight current. The current allows you to lazily float for as long as you want, hence the name, “lazy river.”

The park has some double inner tubes where the front spot is filled in so that little ones can sit in them. We plopped Lylah in the front seat while Sara was in the back, and I floated alongside them.

While we spent our time in the lazy river, we learned that there is an exercise program after the park closes where people come and walk the lazy river. The idea of walking upstream seemed like an effective and refreshing way to exercise during this time of year.

We stayed at the park until it closed. So as we were packing our belongings, we saw all the water walkers arrive at the park. Curious, we stuck around to watch them exercise a bit. When they began, we saw the oddest thing.

Most of the water walkers went with the current!

Flabbergasted, we couldn’t understand the appeal of going through all the effort to exercise in a water park when simply going for a walk would be more effective.

Sara and I talked about this phenomenon and how we both had been surprised. We assumed that the benefit of walking in a lazy river would be the added resistance of walking upstream. But the more I thought about it, the more it isn’t surprising.

Most people in life prefer to go with the flow.

We seek out the course of least resistance and happily drift along, going where the currents of life take us.

It’s no wonder why so many of us have long lists of unaccomplished goals. We are simply content with drifting. When given the choice, we decide to walk with the current instead of against it.

Yet the entirety of the Christian faith involves dying to our own desires. Going against the current of our sinful nature through Christ’s help.

Consider what Jesus says about choosing the narrow path instead of the wide and easy one. He says, “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

People who lead lives of influence consistently choose to go against the current. Whether the currents are their own shortcomings, the status quo in their work environment, or the systemic evils of a society, great leaders don’t drift with the currents.

In which parts of your life do you feel like you are simply drifting? How would your life look if you chose to go against the current?

Editorial note: I’ve been informed that many people actually do switch and go against the current after they warm up. I’ve also been told that even going with the current is more difficult that you’d think, and I haven’t tried it out myself. So I don’t want to imply that people aren’t effectively exercising when they water walk. I just thought up the life lesson while I saw a majority of people walking with the current when they could have been going against it.



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  • Jordan

    My mom goes to that class.. they warm up going with current, then switch to against later.

    • Thanks for letting me know. That’s what happens when I watch for only 5 minutes and then leave. I’ll make an edit in the post.

  • scrhill

    I try to do a good job of “going against the current” with my eating habits. I “go with the current” with household chores and tasks… only doing laundry when I run out of shirts, for example.

    I used to “go with the current” on reading extra books for personal growth. My excuse was that I didn’t have any time. But, about 2 months ago I was convicted that “leaders read and readers lead.” Now I personally make time to read a different book each Thursday when I work from home. I usually only spend 60-90 minutes with each book. If the book has intrigued me to read more, I do so over the weekend. If I’ve gleaned all I can from it, then I put it back on the shelf. I am slowly chipping away at the “to read” stack of books on my side table. It feels good to “go against the current” on this one.