Sunday, May 02, 2010

Just jump in!

Today I spent about an hour laying out by the pool enjoying the beautiful California weather and a nice breeze. Don't worry, I lay in the shade mostly, I am really fair and try to take care of my skin! While I was by the pool, there was a family of about 5 kids hanging out and swimming at the pool. There was a few little girls, a few little boys and this one little girl was about 12 years old. There was also an older brother/cousin/uncle or something that was their supervision. The little girl that my story focuses on was the 12 year old and her name was Jackie. Jackie was clearly a sweet little girl by the way she spoke to the kids around her and the way she spoke to her elders. All of the kids were doing the same things; cannon balling into the pool, running and jumping in, and the more daring boys were doing flips off of the side of the pool into the deep end.

Jackie was a little different than all of the other kids. She wanted so badly to cannonball into the pool, she wanted to do a flip off the side, and even tried the running leap but every time she tried to do something, fear kept her from it. She would run and stop abruptly right before the waters edge and her hands would fly up to her face and she would say "Oh, I am too scared!" This went on for literally an hour and although I wasn't watching the whole thing, I was out there and there was no way to miss all of things that were going on.

I should note, I went out there to lay in a chaise lounge and enjoy the weather and to just kind of be quiet with Jesus. I certainly heard His voice loud and clear while watching this all take place. Jackie was having a really hard time just letting go and allowing herself to do what she knew was going to be fun and exciting. Her fear and her lack of trust in her own swimming ability left her standing at the side. In the very first of all of this, she was trying on her own to jump in. She would do everything in her power to psych herself up to take the flying leap. It didn't work!

Next she tried to get the help of the younger boys who were carelessly throwing their bodies into the air, doing mid-air somersaults and catapulting into the 9 foot deep end. They came over and several times showed her how to do it and said something like "C'mon, just do it, it's EASY." It was anything BUT easy for Jackie. Jackie's next course of action was to ask the older guy there who was in charge of her supervision. He walked over to the side and mimicked what Jackie needed to do to get into the pool safely if she was going to jump. He showed her to position her body, that running wouldn't be the ideal choice, and that she needed to jump into the deep end so as not to harm herself. She still stood paralyzed on the side and over and over, stopped just short of her goal.

Finally, it came down to asking her supervision to help her by throwing her in. He came over and willingly tried to get her in and she grabbed a hold of his shorts so much that if he threw her in, he too would be in the deep end. She stayed glued to the side of the pool. I ended up leaving the pool area and Jackie still stood on the side, not enjoying her time as much as the other kids. My lesson had just begun.

I ended up thinking about Jackie most of the night but realizing it was just a very clear picture of myself when it comes to doing what God wants me to do and trusting him. I kind of see the pool as OBEDIENCE. I am the same as Jackie, most of the time I stand just outside the pool wishing I could just get in. I even do similar things as Jackie did. For instance, I think to myself "If I just talk myself through this, I will be able to do it. I know that God wants me to give 10% of my income to him, however, I am not sure if I do that I will be able to pay our bills. I know I should just trust him but that seems really hard, I think I'll just save the 10% and pay the bills. God will understand." There I the edge biting my fingernails.

I also do the whole running and jumping in thing. I stand on the outside of God's will and I come "I am going to just jump in with everything I have and leap blindly. I will go ahead and make a commitment to go to the gym twice a day until I lose all of this weight." More often than not, I run and jump but fall short of obedience because that pace I can't keep up so there I stand...overweight and out of his will. How frustrating.

I also have gone to other people at times to tell me what I already know. It didn't help Jackie to get instructions from the boys of how easy it was nor did it help her for someone to literally try to throw her in. It would only happen when Jackie was ready for it to happen. That is exactly like me. I have amazing female mentors who I go to with questions of a spiritual nature and they help me navigate what God would want me to do. No matter how many people clarify with me that it's appropriate to obey, I still stand on the edge of the "pool" and wish someone would just do it for me.

Lately I have been coming to a point where I am tired of being dry and watching everyone else be blessed in the "Pool." I am ready to jump in and get entirely wrapped up in God's flow of love where obedience starts!

I hope you get something out of Jackie's story..I sure did. I only hope she is able to jump in and enjoy it soon!

Then...this song came to mind...


Terra said...

Hey Erica! Sorry I've been absent from the "comment board" for a while. I'm still trying to catch up on the blogs I missed while we were moving.

Isn't it amazing how we can learn so much from watching children? I have a friend who refers to her young daughter as her "life coach" and the more I thought about it the more I realized that Liv is like that for me too. Kids are amazing teachers!

Your story about Jackie can apply to life in general as well. Too often I miss out on the joys of life because I'm to scared to take the jump (the risk) needed to do something different.

Great story! (Except for the part where you are laying by the pool! I'm JEALOUS!!! Wish it was pool weather here already! haha!) Thanks for sharing!

Terra said...

I just awarded you a Sunshine Award...pass it along :) and thanks for being a sunny part of my day!