I remember when I was just a grade-school boy. One of my favorite summertime activities was swimming. If I had a chance to be in the water, I would take it, even if it wasn’t terribly hot outside.
There was a community pool in our city, called Anderson Pool. For just 25 cents, you could spend the entire day there. I still remember the smell of the chlorine, the pre-swim shower that felt like needles against my sunburned shoulders, the stubbed toes, and the lifeguards continually telling me to WALK!
There were 3 pools at Anderson Pool. A shallow pool for small children, a 3 to 5 foot deep pool for kids like me, and deeper pool that you could jump off the diving board into.
I remember one summer when I really wanted to jump off the diving boards. I was still pretty small and swimming in the deeper pool required little guys like me to pass a swim test. I was with several friends but only a couple of us were brave enough to take the plunge (literally).
The lifeguard told us that we had to be able to swim from one end of the deep pool to the other. I had already attempted this the summer before, and failed, but this time I wasn’t going to give up. It felt like everyone was watching, and I wanted to look strong. When the lifeguard yelled GO, I jumped in and doggie paddled as hard as I could. I swam to the other end of the pool, and back again! I was exhausted but I passed the test. I was now able to jump off the diving boards!
I discovered that summer that the diving boards were the most fun thing at the pool! I never wanted to go back to the less deep pools ever again! I loved the feeling of plunging into the water, and that brief moment of weightlessness as tiny air bubbles surrounded me. I would spend hours jumping, diving, and flipping into the deep end.
Unfortunately, some of my friends wouldn’t take the test. They were afraid, or they just didn’t want to do it. No matter how many times I encouraged them, or told them how amazing it was in the deep end, they just wouldn’t do it. They were content with splashing around in 3 feet of water, or just sitting at the edge of the pool dipping their feet in while they worked on their tan.
I find following Jesus a lot like that. There is a deep end, and it’s amazing!
In the deep end is peace. In the deep end is purpose. In the deep end is revelation, intimacy, joy, wisdom, and adventure!
The deep end requires of us. It requires time in prayer, time in God’s word, silence, fasting, sacrifice. But, just like I never regretted taking that swim test, I’ve never regretted paying any price to go deeper in my faith.
Yet, there are some who are content in the shallows. They don’t really know what they’re missing, and they don’t feel like finding out. Just like I wish I could have gotten my friends to take the swim test, I wish I could get all believers to take the plunge into deeper, more meaningful experiences with God.
How about you? Are you still splashing around in the shallows? What’s keeping you there? Do you lack motivation? Are you afraid?
Push past those things, jump in, and discover the awesome adventure that is the deep end.
You won’t regret it!