February 18, 2010
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?