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Wednesday, October 15, 2014


"Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch."
~Jesus,  Luke 5

Many years ago I was a lifeguard at a public swimming pool and one of the sidelines of that job was also teaching swimming lessons, mostly to young children, for the public recreation department.

We always started out in the shallow end of the pool were we learned to be comfortable in the water and under the water.  Then came the basics of breathing, floating, treading, kicking and finally arm strokes.  Once we had the basics in hand we worked on distance. Our first major goal was swimming across the pool without stopping. 

When students were able to swim across the pool they could go into the deep end of the pool. This is where things got interesting. There was usually one or more students who were afraid of going in the deep end, even though they could swim perfectly well across the pool, and sometimes back as well.    

My response to them always began with, "You can swim.  And when you're swimming it doesn't matter how deep the water is."  With most students it only took a few minutes in the deep water to realize this. Before long they were gleefully jumping from the diving board, which of course was usually their ultimate goal.

Like those children in the swimming pool, when we trust our capacity to acquire new knowledge and learn new skills, and then trust what we already know, this is usually enough for us to take the next step. Before long we're "swimming." And when we're swimming it doesn't matter how deep the water is.  Then comes the fun of jumping from the diving board!

So, it is time to get out of the shallow end and into deeper water?

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