Many of my favorite summertime memories revolve around swimming. We used to spend a couple of weeks out at my grandparents bungalow in Long Island, NY. We swam in the Long Island sound (not far from where the movie, Jaws, was filmed). I remember my dad holding me up in the water and teaching me how to do a basic swim stroke. My dad was a swimmer growing up, and so are my children – guess it’s a family thing.
These days I don’t swim much. My ears are problematic so I can’t really “swim”. The thing I miss most when I get in the water is the opportunity to go deep underwater. Swimming on the surface is nice, but all the real action happens in the deeper water. I remember on our honeymoon in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, I was able to snorkel and dive down into the coral reefs – boy, there was some action down there. Not only do you find a greater sense of beauty, you also find a bit more danger – like the almost-too-close encounter with a barracuda!
you may be asking yourself what all this has to do with my blog and my musings from a spiritual, church vision perspective. Well, the experience I have now of having to stay on the surface of the water means I avoid the difficult stuff, but I also miss out on the greater beauty – and the same is true for us in our relationship as Christ-followers.
Let me ask you this, when was the last time you went deep in a conversation with Christian friends? I don’t mean deep in the sense of probing deep philosophical or theological issues, but deep in the sense that you shared the disposition of your soul with another human being? John Wesley’s main question in a small group setting was, “How is it with your soul?” Just wondering, how often are we asking and answering that question from the standpoint of how we’re doing as Christ-followers? It’s more than just sharing our feelings, it’s sharing the struggles and joys of our call to follow Jesus. If someone were to ask your best friend what your relationship with God is like, could they answer with any real knowledge?
It’s not a bad thing to stay on the surface, but it won’t give you the depth of beauty and adventure you get by going deep. If we avoid sharing from the depths of our fears and our desires and our call to serve we will avoid the difficult issues, but we’ll miss out on the greater joy.
My encouragement to you this week is to have lunch with a fellow Christ-follower who knows you well – and go deep.
Holy high-five to you, Mike