I’m a Child of the 70’s. We were all pretty invincible then. We had things like high-dives, leaded gasoline, vehicles without enough seatbelts, and bicycle helmets were unheard of. Margarine was the answer to the evils of butter, we got a color TV, and microwave ovens revolutionized food preparation. I loved the smell of leaded gasoline but the fuel crisis scared everybody out of their big, beautiful gas hogs into small, economical, unleaded sardine cans. Jimmy Carter was either the savior of the world or the devil incarnate depending on your point of view. Hmm, some things haven’t changed.
I think back on the high-dive sometimes, the rush of the deep water, and standing 10 feet above everything. I swallowed my fear so I could take that leap into the depths below. After a couple bounces, and to avoid being labelled a Chicken, I jump! I hit the water and feel the overwhelming rush of having survived the leap. Quickly, I’m overcome by the pain of the belly flop, the lack of air in my lungs, the water up my nose, and the pressure in my ears as I sink down near the bottom. Swimming as hard as I can, I gasp for air at the surface a split second before it’s too late. “I’m ok – be cool.” I think as I swim to the wall noticing lifeguards all around as I turn my attention to make sure my Dad and brother had witnessed my epic feat.
The high dive was the coup de grace. Everybody, well almost everybody, wanted to go there. They didn’t just let you jump off the high dive. You had to take swim lessons, pass swim tests, and get the ok from your folks. Swim lessons were terrible. It seemed like it was always a cold and foggy morning. Of course we had to wait for the class before to finish while we slowly froze to death after the mandatory rinse off. Then into the pool, which wasn’t much warmer, to commence with the ridiculous bobs, 1000’s of kicks with a foam board, floating forever, and endless laps in the shallow end. Eventually you’d graduate to the deep end where you’d struggle to tread water and stay afloat. Here you got your workout. Endless laps, and laps, and laps…
Endure To The End
Everyone wants to go right to the high-dive, never enduring the monotony and struggle of the lessons in the shallow water. My instructors and parents knew that without the time and struggle put into the lessons, I would never survive the high-dive or have the strength to swim to the surface, and live to tell about it.
Swim lessons weren’t fun at the time. Looking back though, I made memories and met friends who shared the struggle. We learned and grew stronger together. We pushed each other on. Some were afraid and didn’t advance. They stayed back with the younger and younger kids. Those who pushed on got to play in the deep end during open swim with others who had experienced similar lessons and gained similar skills. What fun we had there!
Patience my friend. God has a plan. And, if you’ll follow Him, He will take you through the perfect lessons to train you up for your high dive when the time is right. He has people to walk alongside you and create memories on the way. He’s your heavenly Father. He knows what’s best and has surrounded you with teachers and coaches who’ve been there and endured the struggle themselves. In the meantime, pay attention to who God has placed around you. What fun can you have learning, loving and struggling together?
In the joy of His presence,