The different personality responses:
1) The most confident and obnoxious of children out of water become like kittens when timid or scared of water surroundings. (claws out, meowing)
2) Children that think they can swim, but in fact they can't, but don't care if they do or don't succeed, they're just happy to be there and they trust that you'll catch them.
3) Children who are lovely swimmers but lack the confidence within themselves to see just how good they are.
4) Some are shocking swimmers, but have the internal drive to do better and they strive until they improve.
5) Most beginner to intermediate level adults will give up before they even try. 80% of adult bookings will be no shows on their first day. Some try one lesson, and give up.
Who would you guess as being the easiest personalities to work with? In my opinion it is Number 2) and Number 4). Those who jump and take risks, not quite knowing what will happen, but in full trust that they are safe, and; those that know they have weaknesses, but are driven to make it despite the odds.
I was talking to my fiancÃ© about these type of kids over the weekend. Suddenly it dawned on me that there is a direct correlation to how we behave as adults and our relationship with God.
I recall a particular dialogue I had with a nervous child;
"Ok Lucas, jump to Belinda, I'll catch you!"
"I don't want to"
"Are you scared?"
"Well, I'll catch you!"
"Yes I will. Come on, just try it and I'll give you a hug and say WELL DONE and I'll be very excited when you get to me."
"No, I don't want to."
I know God has been gently urging and prodding me more recently. He asks me if I trust Him and I say "Yes". But I still want to control my life. I still want to hold on to offence, hurts and unforgiveness.
Doesn't God offer to take that all away? He does. He says "Come on, just try it and I'll give you a hug and say 'well done' and I'll be very excited when you get to me."
Admitting our pain and asking God to heal us by forgiving those who have caused us hurt is a huge step in walking this life more spiritually free. Sometimes I get stuck. I don't know why and then God will reveal something or someone I thought I'd locked out/blocked out/forgotten. I thought forgetting was as good as forgiving them? That situation doesn't exist if I put it out of my head, right? Wrong. It had lodged itself deeply within my heart and was niggling at me. Until it gets drawn out of your heart (yes, through anger and pride) and handed over to God and stepped out in forgiveness of that person/s, you will be stuck. And quite probably you won't know why.
We can become like a child when God reveals something like this. When He asks us to deal with it, we say "No!". He asks, "Are you scared?". We say, "Yes". Usually we build a wall, try and 'get stronger' so it won't happen again and we then feel 'protected'. Or we think we are right and justified to hold onto things. I have realised that this drives a wedge between us and God and other people. He forgives us, but we must pass on that grace to others.
Bringing Jesus into the picture and seeing that He was standing alongside me the whole time of my pain and even at that moment of dealing with it, is very peaceful and reassuring.
In the Bible (Matthew 11:28), Jesus says, "Come to me, all you who are troubled and weighted down with care, and I will give you rest." This is one of my favourite passages in the New Testament. Jesus is not only willing, but invites us, to 'come to him'. (1) It is Jesus who speaks. (2) He invites us to come to him. (3) The invitation is to those who are troubled and weighted down with care. (4) He promises, to all these weary ones who come, rest. The offer is not that of a man, but of the Divine Saviour.
Millions of people can bear witness that this promise is sure and true. I know I can.
Do you feel the heavy burdens of life, of sin and sorrow? Is there someone in your life that has hurt or offended you? Do they still pop into your head and you have feelings of resentment toward them? Or is there a wall built up against them?
Jesus promises rest and peace of our soul. Forgive and let Him carry the weight of it all. Then, see what God has for you.
Will He catch me if I jump? Yes. He promises.
Belinda Scotland is from the Sunshine Coast, QLD. She has a heart and passion for God, mission and social justice. Currently Belinda is the Manager of a Swim School and serving her local community.
Belinda Scotland's archive of articles may be viewed at: www.pressserviceinternational.org/belinda-scotland.html