Thursday, September 20, 2012

Connecting Life with Faith: Back to the Diving Board



Photo by Vaughan Hannigan Artist site here
When I was a young boy I took swimming lessons almost every summer.  Many of you know how it is.  You start out in the shallow end attempting to master such feats as going under water, blowing bubbles in the water and using kickboards etc.  Most of the time in these parts of the lesson there are instructors present with you, guiding and supporting you as you develop.  But then comes the time for the diving board!

Since it is summer and I frequent pools often with my children I began to reflect on various pool memories of the past. As I did this I began to contemplate the spiritual lessons that lay like gems embedded in those memories. 

Discipleship, mentoring and teaching are great for getting the basics of religious routine and theology.  They are all necessary for developing a strong healthy vibrant believer.

However, the real spiritual faith test comes at the diving board.  When I was taking those swimming lessons many times the teacher would line us up at the diving board and every time I refused to jump because of my fear.  My eyes full of tears I retreated to the poolside to watch the other children plunge into the deep end of the pool and watch the instructor catch hold of them as they floated to the top.

I knew and understood that the instructor was there and that it was not an entirely dangerous affair, yet without my own experience my instincts were bent on self perservation and escaping the situation. It was a very emotional time for me.

And isn' that the way it is spiritually too?  We read the Bible and we understand with our mind yet when it comes to commiting our lives into His hands and facing potential danger we can have difficulty jumping into His waiting arms. 

We know He is good, we know He is there waiting to catch us though the plunge may be a shock and we get wet and there may be dark times when you feel overwhelmed.  God's plan for us is to perfect us by faith.  He completes our existence by giving us a choice to obey His instruction and follow His ways becoming more like Him. 

Without trials there would be no need for faith.

So in these days I find myself back at the diving board of life again.  Having to trust God is the real situation I am facing, but now the diving board is a lot higher than those grade school days, the risks are real and more intense than ever. 

Back to the story, at the end of summer during the last lesson, the class ended as always with jumping from the diving board.  It was this time I realized that in order to pass and get the certificate and the coveted candy that came with it I had to jump from the diving board.  This was my last chance and as the crowd of parents watched and I looked at the water below I took in a breath holding back the tears in my eyes.  Then everything seemed still and I leaned forward and hopped towards the water, and before I knew it I was in the water pulled out and taken to poolside.  I smile of joy and shock was on my face.  Wow! I thought to myself that was exciting, maybe I'll do it again.

Be blessed and may God be with you in all you do.
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