bits from bob....

Principles for Swimming

by Robert J. Young
January 31, 2003
©, 2003, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

I've never been a particularly strong swimmer, but I enjoy the water. I worked at the city swimming pool a couple of summers during high school. In the afternoon heat of a Kansas summer, the pool was refreshing.

The pool was divided by a rope--shallow end and deep end. To go in the deep end, you had to pass a swimming test administered by the lifeguard--two laps without touching the bottom. Everyone started in the shallow end, walking on the bottom, head barely above the water. Go to the rope, but no farther. We could enjoy the water without learning how to swim, always in water shallow enough that our feet could touch the bottom.

The swimming pool is analogous to life. Christians start their Christian walk in the shallow end. It's comforting to be able to touch the bottom. It's nice to be able to see where we are putting our feet. We experiment, go deeper, even approach the rope. The goal, however, is to grow in Christ enough to be able to go where our feet don't touch--to swim! At some point, we have to learn to swim. No more walking by sight, no more seeing the bottom, no more "I have to see it completely or I can't go there."

Put away the floaties, the intertubes, the air beds, and swim! Only those who have learned to swim, supported by their own faith in Christ, can really enjoy the deep end. Everyone else clings to the side, stays near the shore, finds more fear than exhilaration in the waters of life.

Several people you know are trying to cope with the challenges of the deep end. Some are trying to decide whether they should go deep enough to be baptized, or always keep their feet on the bottom where faith isn't really needed. Others learned to swim a long time ago, but are finding the deep end exhausting, muscles tired, waves boisterous. Have you noticed how the people around you are doing? Look, and pray.

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Last updated January 31, 2003.