When I was a younger man I loved to swim. I loved to get buffeted by the waves on the beach and I loved to put on my googles and swim in the pool. Diving into the water was exhilarating. I loved to do laps and push off the wall and go as far as I could under water before taking a breadth of air. There was something exciting about staying under water and fighting the urge to get air until the last moment.
The muffled world under water is reversed somehow. Gravity keeps us on the ground. We dream we can fly but can only jump so high before our feet find themselves back on the ground. When you swim the surface of the water is the ground and the water is like the air. Underneath you can fly. With flippers and goggles you can gain speed with visibility.
Yesterday I thought of this verse as we spoke to people addicted to drugs and it seems out of place but none the less it is what I was thinking about.
"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." - Genesis 2:7 KJV
Did Adam gasp for air like a swimmer returning to the surface after a long dive? Did he scramble a moment in panic and feel the surge of life? Maybe it was a gentle inhale and exhale that was no event at all worth mentioning but maybe it wasn't. One day I'll ask him if I still care about the answer once I meet him.
I find faith to be like swimming used to be for me. I dive in and get back out dripping with water just to head back to the board and dive again. At times we save those who don't know how to swim or get a cramp and need help making it to shore.
I don't know any lifeguards that hated to swim before they took their test but I do know people who stopped loving to swim because swimming became a job.
Life without that panicked moment when I inhale sweet precious air is just a job... a thing to endure until something else comes along.
I am not a young man anymore. Adventure seems to take a toll on my body and it isn't only because of age. It is tempting to play things safer because of the price involved but that is not living it is just existing.
So in I go again. I'll travel to the water where people are drowning and I'll jump in to save them. That struggling soul is worth more than all the world. At the same time I want to just jump in and swim even if it's just to climb up the ladder dripping wet and take another dive off the board. There is another world under the water with God. The rules are different there. I can fly there with Him when I live by faith.
That is what every addict in that park needs. That is what ever person on the team who went to talk to them needs. That is what I need.
We need to breath in the free gift of God and then give it back to him and then do it again and again. That is living.
Thank you Jesus for restoring breadth to my lungs. I would have drowned without You. Your Father gave me life and You have given me my life back. I am so grateful. When I lose my way please show me where the water is. Show me where it is for this next season of life. I long to swim with You.