I took some time recently to watch the fish in a nearby pond. These particular fish were about the size of the 25 cent gold fish you can buy from a pet store. The pond fed into a larger lake via a water system that included a waterfall. I found myself sitting at the top of the waterfall, losing track of time, as I watched the little orange blobs dart around the rocks in the water, like spastic creatures of energy.
Every once in a while the current seemed to get too strong and pulled these tiny fish over the lip leading to a 15 foot drop. It took all the might these little fish had to stay on the safe side of the waterfall.
Life is a little like this. Most of the time, it's pretty easy to keep going. We just do our thing like the fish that don't get close to the edge. Other times, the current of life's stresses seems to pull us toward the edge. We feel like we're not going to make it. The projects pile up, life has demands from all sides, and we can feel like we're drowning. Even then, somehow we survive. The projects end, deadlines come, and life slows down again, just like when the fish manage to make it back over to the safe side of the lip.
Every once in a while we find ourselves going over the edge and swimming in new water. We've changed our circumstances and the new environment takes some adjusting, but as it turns out, there's more water to swim in, more options for exploration, and new fish to meet.
So when life starts trying to pull you over the edge, or you don't feel like you're going to make it to that deadline, remember that in the past you always have, and you've always survived.
But here's the good news. Even if these fish did go over the waterfall (like I saw a couple do), there's still water at the bottom. Life keeps going, and it may end up as more of a blessing than could ever be imagined.