I love floating on my back. I love the weightlessness I feel when I’m on the water. I love the way my sense of hearing becomes momentarily muted. I love the way I’m free to focus on breathing. In and out, in and out, in and out.
I close my eyes and don sunglasses to block out even more of the light. I can easily slide into sensory overload in this city, and floating on my back cues my system to stop thinking so stinkin’ hard and so ridiculously much and just exist.
It’s my opportunity to tune out the auditory and visual clutter. Even the mental clutter starts to dissipate as I focus solely on my breath. My muscles relax, and sometimes even my headaches and neckaches begin to lessen. Being on the water like this is about as close to bliss as I get.
Naturally, I want to share my love of supine flotation with my children. Once I tried teaching a child to float, with particular difficulty. This child kept tensing up and sinking. At first I tried supporting the float, but every time I removed my hands, sinking commenced. My child felt too frightened to try again.
That’s when I explained: You have to trust the water to hold you. “Relax, don’t tense up, and that water is strong enough to hold you. Don’t worry, because if you start to sink, Mommy is right here. Mommy won’t let you sink. Mommy won’t let you fall.”
Isn’t that so often the way life with God is? We have trouble trusting God to hold us up. We have trouble trusting Him to catch us. We’re not sure He’s going to keep us from sinking.
But this God of ours, we can trust Him. He is strong enough to hold us. He’s right here with us, and He’s trustworthy and trustable. We don’t have to be “prepared to sink,” as that struggling swimmer of mine claimed. But first, we have to breathe. We have to relax. We have to trust.
A few weeks later, we were all swimming somewhere else. My fledgling little swimmer was becoming more confident in the water. But the jump came too soon, and water was swallowed, and the poor dear came out of the water spluttering.
Papa instructed: Respect the water. In other words, obey the rules of reality. Obey the laws of physics. That water will hold you, but you have to respect its properties.
Afterwards I reflected on our summertime experiences. I thought about these two watery truths, that we must simultaneously respect and trust the water. And I realized: the way we treat the water is the same way we walk with our Savior.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
How have you experienced the water as good and/or dangerous?
How has your relationship with Christ reflected both “trust” and “obey”?