One of the enjoyments of life in summer, (in California almost year round) is taking a dip in the pool. I admit, swimming as eluded me these last few summers even though we have a community pool just a couple minutes walk from my front door. I know at my stage in life, swimming is an excellent exercise and quite relaxing. Refreshing and just plain fun go right along with the belly flops and Marco Polo shout-outs. We look forward to the Olympic Summer Games where swimming sports win gold and new hereos wear goggles and spandex.
Some though, find a pool and water up over their knees quite intimidating, down right frightening.
They stare at the steps and wonder, what the big deal is, yet don't move forward.
They can hear their friends, even family coaching them on, reassuring them that all is OK, to trust the process.
"Come in. The water is great! No one will let you drown!
You even have your cutest suit on, your boldest hawaiian print board shorts, sunscreen, and beach towel. You're ready, but...
look over there, a deeper place, a scary place...
Finally, you immerse yourself in the shallow end and feel accomplished. But it's there you stay, dog-paddling, blowing a few bubbles and hanging onto the edge with your eye on the easy way out.
You watch as laps are completed and head-first dives are executed off springy boards and...what is that? --Synchronized swimming? Ugh!
It's too much work, too deep, too many arm strokes and foot paddling and chlorine and this and that...
Lessons are rejected, breathing techniques are disregarded, safety doesn't mean much because you avoid any challenge. The exercise, the cheering section and the improvement stay packed away, no progress made. Hanging out with guppies becomes your norm. The shallow end--your only friend because the deep...
well, it's just over your head.
I think there are a lot of enthusiasts of Jesus like that. They received their "pool" invitation with excitement. Maybe even went and purchased all the accessories to make them look experienced and ready--even a spray-on tan!
Yet they never move out of the shallows of their faith. They don't learn to let go, be taught and trust--Trust in the Life Guard of Everlasting Life! They drown in their own tears of doubt and worry.
Everyone finds their beginings in the shallows, and that is a good place to start. But many continue to lean on their own understanding, that the deep is just out of their comfort zone. They miss the blessings of completing laps, seeing the end results of the effort, of learning the ways of the water and discovery of the depths.
-as Dory says, "just keep swimming, just keep swimming."
-as Jesus said, "Just keep believing, just keep believing." (Mark 5:36).
Lord, learning to tread water was a good thing. Holding my breath and trusting in You for my next inhale has strengthened me. Staying and swimming in the deep waters of Your love has refreshed me and taught me to know You are always on deck, always standing guard over my life. When I emerge from the waters of Your salvation, I am covered in a warm towel of amazing grace. Help me Lord, everyday, to be synchronized with Your moves, immersed in Your Word and in Your will, ready to go deeper in trust and faith for wherever the laps of life continue to lead me. Amen.