Do you remember when you learned to swim? Were you afraid of the water? Afraid of deep water?
I wasn’t. Not a bit. What an idiot!
I think I was about 8. Summer of ’69. Some kid at the neighborhood wading pool teaches me to swim underwater in 3 feet of water and I think I’m on top of the world! I can do anything now! Swimming? I’ve got this!
Fast forward, I go visit my grandma in another town and she drops me off at their neighborhood pool (you could do that back in the day). This pool was the bomb! Diving boards, and even a HIGH dive. I was on fire!
As soon as she drives away, of course I make a beeline for the high dive. I don’t even bother to get wet first. Just up the steps and here we go! I’ve always loved this pool! And now, I’m the master of the domain from high atop the HIGH DIVE!
I’m sure you sniffed this out. I hit the water in a pretty loud bellyflop and my underwater swimming skill set isn’t going to do much good with the wind knocked out of the me. The lifeguard pulls me out and while my name is Scotty, he doesn’t look anything like Wendy Peffercorn! You’re killing me, Smalls!
At least they are cool about it and don’t kick me out of the pool. I spend the rest of the day working on that underwater thing in the shallow end. And everything turns out okay. Grandma picks me up, “So? How’d it go?” I lie, of course. She would never let me go back!
I got grounded. Not by Grandma, not that kind of grounded, but I got grounded, for sure.
I hope we all have a yearning for the deep end. For the challenge. For adventure.
But I also wonder if we look to God to guide us there. Do we wait for the Spirit to show up? Do we wait for Jesus to lead us?
Or do we just head for the high dive in the deep end?
I’m reminded of all of this from one little line in a prayer by John Philip Newell that I read yesterday morning. It’s not even really directly related, but it sent my mind spinning off…yes, maybe into what is deepest.
For everything that emerges from the earth thanks be to you, O God. Holy Root of being Sacred Sap that rises Full-bodied Fragrance of earth’s unfolding form. May we know that we are of You may we know that we are in You may we know that we are on with You Together one. Guide us as nations to what is deepest Open us as peoples to what is first Lead us as a world to what is dearest that we may know the holiness of wholeness that we may learn the strength of humility that together we may live close to the earth and grow in grounded glory.
--J. Philip Newell in Praying with the Earth
If you’re interested, I’m happy to loan you my copy of the book. Mask up, and stop by the office any time.