I’ve always enjoyed being in the water. We took swimming lessons when we were kids and I was quite proud of the badges on my swimsuit. But even so I remember my first ride on the ferry across to Salt Spring Island and commenting that I wouldn’t want to fall in because the water was so deep. Apparently the fact that it was frigidly cold and we were miles from land didn’t faze me, but the thought of falling into water that I was certain must have been hundreds of feet deep was rather unnerving. I wasn’t even convinced when Dad tried to explain that if I could swim in three feet of water I could swim in three hundred feet of water.
What was the issue? I was comfortable in the pool where I knew I could touch bottom, even if the water was over my head I knew I could still push up from the floor and break the surface. But out on the ocean it was literally sink or swim and as a child that made me very uncomfortable.
In Galatians 2:20 we’re told that Jesus, literally, will live his life through us. That may sound out of left field, but let me put the two thoughts together. Far too many Jesus followers never get out of the pool. They swim, i.e. they allow Jesus to live his life through them, but never let themselves get beyond where they know they can put their feet down and touch bottom. In other words they don’t whole-heartedly trust their lives to Jesus; they want to maintain that safety, that control factor because going out in the ocean means that if Jesus doesn’t do what he said they’re going to drown.
Now for some people God essentially throws them into the ocean as a death, or illness or some other traumatic circumstance suddenly removes the bottom they thought was there. But for most of us it comes down to a matter of obedience. God has told us it’s time to jump into the ocean, maybe a call to career ministry of some sort, maybe taking on a leadership role in the church, maybe even just reaching out to your neighbor to express God’s love. For some of you it is simply acknowledging Jesus as your God and allowing him to begin teaching you to swim.
It’s time to jump into the ocean; it’s time to obey.