A friend of mine recently got back from diving in Egypt and from the look of the photos, had an amazing time! It got me thinking about the water, and how much I love it. I grew up on the coast of South Africa, and regularly went swimming in the sea and lakes around us. Some of the pools we swam in were so deep, we could never even get close to the bottom, and sometimes I would find myself a bit out of my depth at sea. The ones that caught me out, were when I thought it was deep, and it wasn’t. I must have been about 8 years old and swimming at a pool at Namutoni (in Etosha National Park – Namibia) when I dived in the kiddies pool and realised too late that it was far shallower than I had hoped. I remember sort of bouncing off the bottom and bruising/grazing my chin quite badly, as well as nearly choking myself to death.
We have been talking about spiritual depth recently, and three clear parallels have jumped out at me in relation to jumping in the water.
1) Learn your depth.
Some people can deal with anything, others struggle, it’s part of a process. My wife (Mel) wont climb into any water, unless someone else is in it, and the water is very clear. Growing up, I even had to remove the pool-cleaning-vacuum-thing out, in case it viciously attacked her. If we know our water is shallow, go in slowly and pace yourself. If we know its deep, we can dive right in, knowing we will come up safely. By knowing our depth, we can learn to go deeper. Knowing your spiritual gifts doesn’t exclude you from serving in any way you can, but it does help you understand your weaknesses (1 Cor. 12:7) 2)
2) Going Deeper.
Life throws strange things at us sometimes. Are we reacting in the same way every time, or are we learning and able to change our behaviour/actions? As we do, we can enjoy moving into the deeper water. We start to figure our way past the everyday annoyances and struggles, and strangely, start to notice others swimming around us. For me, realising and seeing God in the details, and stopping striving for the big things, radically changed my mind-set!
3) Finally, enjoy a good swim.
I love diving in and gliding through the cool water. I watch my girls swimming and they are getting more and more confident and competent every day – like little mermaids. They enjoy it so much and it makes me want to join in. Spiritual depth is not about solemnness and seriousness – yes, there is a season for all things.
Spiritual depth is about seeing what God sees, getting ourselves fully immersed, and enjoying it together!