Thursday, June 16, 2011

Jesus Our Swimming Instructor

The dark bottle-green liquid pierced by the occasional shaft of sunlight. As a child I stood near the ferry terminals at the quay looking down into the watery green unknown. The image haunts me still.

How many of us have looked down into deep water, and thought, “I wonder what's down there”? It really is the dark unknown, the green liquid covering like a blanket an unknown world full of strange creatures and mottled light.

As a child nothing frightened me more than the thought of falling alone into this green unknown. The thought of everything below me. Below could see me, but I couldn’t see below!

And even though I’m grown up now, the thought of floating alone in the harbor still frightens me. The thought of my legs dangling below, with who knows how many fathoms down to the murky bottom.

If only it were just a thought and not reality!

Ever since our first parents believed the lie, and followed the serpent out into the green unknown, we’ve all been dreaming, just like shipwrecked men who satisfy their stomachs by dreaming of succulent dishes. We imagine that we’re really back on land, and that the water surrounding us is just a momentary unpleasantry akin to rain from a passing cloud.

Some cloud! A cloud that has overshadowed the false dream of human existence for thousands of years, since virtually the beginning.

But I’ve had enough of that dream that humanity can forge a better destiny for itself apart from its Creator. The dream’s had it. It’s as false an idea as a mouthful of gravel making a satisfying meal.

My legs are dangling below, and I know it. I know it, and I hate it. I know that I’m not the master of my own destiny that secular humanism says I am. This world and all its problems are too big for me, like the dark mass of the harbor below. And I want out. I want to walk on land, and not just dream about it.

Yet to think that there was one man who left his haven on the shore to plunge into the darkness of the deep to come to us and save us. He came to comfort us in the midst of the dark green unknown of life in a confusing world, and to teach us how to swim and how to reach God’s haven. Yet that we might understand more of what he has done for us, how he sacrificed his life to the deep that we might have safe passage to the shore. That we might see all the more that apart from him our bones are doomed to feed the creatures of the dark bottle-green liquid, to see that apart from a commitment to his way of life we have no hope whatsoever, our dreams simply delusions.

Friends, in this life it’s either sink or swim, and swimming is much to be preferred over sinking. Listen to words of your swim instructor. Listen to the words of Jesus. Follow his instructions, and swim with all of your might. For a time the green fathoms of hurt and confusion and sin and despair will still surround you; but you’ll be heading in the right direction, with Jesus to guide and encourage you, until you reach the safety of the eternal shore. And then finally we will be able … to rest.

1 comment:

Manaphy L said...

Very interesting and from now on whenever I look at water I will think more about Jesus' role in our life.