Swimming Pools & Winter Time

Psalm 42:1, 2 (New Living)
1 As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.
2 I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him?

The last time I checked it was 38 degrees outside, but for whatever reason all I can think about are swimming pools. Growing up as a middle schooler, the City pool was the place to see and be seen. Since we were too young to get a part-time job, our days were consumed with playing Sharks & Minnows and Marco Polo while filling our stomachs with Sunkist Soda and Twizzlers from the Snack Bar. Still, in terms of popularity, nothing topped the diving board. When someone made his or her way to dive, they knew all eyes were fixed on them. Pull off a cannonball, screwdriver, or back flip, and the audience was left utterly impressed.

I hate to admit it, but I was always a bit reluctant to go on the board. While waiting in line, I would marvel at how my friends would run to the end of the board then twist and contort their bodies with no fear on their faces. Even though they didnt often enter the water perfectly, they made their actions appear almost effortless, and from the looks on their faces there was no doubting how much fun they were having. As I climbed the ladder, my nerves seemed to get the better of me. Face to face with the board, my feet felt like quick sand and I froze. With friends egging me on to do something, I knew retreating back down the stairs would be an action Id never live down. It was now or never to perform my first front flip.

The same holds true in regard to your My One Word experience. Many of you have taken the time to climb up the ladder by picking a single word to define you in 2010. Now you find yourself staring at the end of the board with a mental image of yourself diving into the water. Part of you cannot wait to launch out into the deep end. Yet, youll never experience that reality without movement. Thomas Edison once said, Vision without execution is hallucination. You may have a vision of the person you want to become, but it would be pure insanity to think you will transform into that individual without movement.  Your feet are frozen and you are in desperate need of a push to put the movement toward growth into action.

Engaging in spiritual disciplines is what creates this movement. They enable your vision to become a reality by forcing momentum and setting a direction you are moving toward. Just like my friends jumping off the diving board, chances are good your movement at first wont feel natural. But disciplines enable you to experience freedom and abandon, while standing on the board frozen by your vision only leads to frustration and discontentment. Disciplines do not produce change; rather they create a context where change can occur. They put us where God can begin to work within us to transform our character into His heart.

Wed love to hear your response to the following question: Since you have begun to setup disciplines to engage your One Word, what has been the biggest insight you have gained about the character of God? What have you learned about yourself? How has this surprised you?

5 Responses to “Swimming Pools & Winter Time”

  1. Debbie says:

    Just as God cannot be rushed, I have learned that change for me will not come over night and that I should not rush the process. The process is what constitutes the change. I don’t know that I am necesarily surprised, but living it daily is a revelation as I attempt to live out my word.

  2. Anne says:

    wow-what insights! I find myself in that frozen state-I am at the board; I am on the steps; now ‘what I am going to do on the board?;at the end of the board?; will my swimsuit float to the surface without me?; will I fall off the board before I get to the end?; will I end up just jumping in and not doing anything?’ I know at a ‘head-level’ that these ‘what ifs’ are straight from the pit to misdirect my efforts and stunt my growth, but it hasn’t moved to a heart response. Perhaps I have not worked on ‘setting up the spiritual disciplines that create movement’, thus explaining my frozen state. I also know that my focus has been on my (imperfect) efforts and not on my perfect Lord. This behavior and focus has always lead to my stagnation and lack of action.

  3. Michelle says:

    Since you have begun to setup disciplines to engage your One Word, what has been the biggest insight you have gained about the character of God?

    God wants me to succeed! He wants me to live by faith and to have faith not only in him, but in me. He knows I can do it , I just need to have faith in myself and do it.

    What have you learned about yourself? How has this surprised you?

    That God has been giving me the tools to develop faith. He doesn’t want me to worry, procastinate or second guess myself. He wants me to take the next step and the next by faith and he has given me the tools to do this, but he doesn’t want me to do it all at once. God wants me to take the babysteps necessary as to make sure that they will be part of my life forever.

  4. Lara says:

    Since you have begun to setup disciplines to engage your One Word, what has been the biggest insight you have gained about the character of God?

    He is still the same and always constant!

    What have you learned about yourself? How has this surprised you?

    I have learned that I keep making excuses to change and not making my word my #1 priority. This has not surprised me. I will try again tomorrow.

  5. Terri says:

    Our God has all the patience in the world. He will wait for me. I need only ask and He is there for me. There will be many times when I do not have the energy to DO but with Him I can. The only way it has surprised me is that I can do so much more than I am expecting of me.

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