I almost had to laugh when I heard this title drop in my ear.
I recall a time not so long ago when my daughter was small and had a fear of jumping in the pool. She would stand on the edge of the pool with a float around her waist, little fingers clasp firmly on her nose, eyes squeezed tightly shut and count one, two, three. Her little body moving as if to jump in but at the last possible second backing away from the edge, not yet mommy, not yet…
The ritual would be repeated many times over the summer until the day came that a friend finally threw her in, yes you read that right. She threw her in, float and all. Miraculously she learned to swim, that day no less. I chuckle even now because what seemed so monumental at the time in reality was so small. The whole time she had feared the unknown, the possibilities that only a 4 year could imagine. Even though I was right there at the edge, even though she had a float around her waist, even though the water wasn’t even over her head, she feared what she could not see, what she could not control.
Isn’t that how our lives are? We are standing on the proverbial edge of the pool. We feel we are standing on the edge of great precipice that any moment could pull us under causing great bodily harm. So we hold on for everything we are worth. We surround ourselves with every possible measure of safety we can and call it faith. We close our eyes and call it prayer deceiving ourselves when the reality is we are fearful. We lack trust that God is capable of keeping that which have committed to Him so we have an escape plan, a float if you will in case we drown.
Just in case that doesn’t work we close our eyes and pretend to pray when all we are really doing is hiding behind our fear filled heart pretending if we don’t look we aren’t responsible for what happens next. Basically we are cowards. If we don’t see the edge we won’t fall right?
I remember taking a trip to the Grand Canyon a few years ago. Now I’m not afraid of heights whatsoever and have a bit of a daredevil side in me. I also love the outdoors and was really excited to see the Grand Canyon. We had come to a spot where there were a bunch of people so I wanted to get a better view. Naturally being the daredevil I am I found a place you could walk out on but you would have to cross a drop off that was a couple of feet across. Here I go across and for a moment I was lost in the view. It was absolutely breathtaking. It was as if the world disappeared and all that was left was me and Abba Father. Drinking in the fading sunset I finally turned to go and that’s when everything went horribly wrong. My daredevil streak came to heart stopping, stomach dropping halt.
It’s one thing to know there are people behind you that you are safe, but when you turn around and all there is air and God, well let me tell you, courage fails you and fear becomes your nearest and dearest friend. Mine dropped that day like a rock thrown off a cliff. My heart somehow ended up in my stomach, my lunch ended up in my throat leaving my husband bent over roaring with laughter. Now all of a sudden the daredevil is down on all fours crawling back across the divide or should I say attempting to, my husband attempting to help me through his now hysterical laughter. I suppose it was funny in a way now that I think about it. At the moment, not so much!
Leave it to God to give me a teachable moment.
You see, nothing had really changed from the first moment I stepped out on to the platform until the moment I had turned to go back. Positional I was in the same place. What changed was me. I took my eyes off the mark and allowed fear to close my eyes.
For a moment I allowed a what could be to overrule what might not ever happen.
So often we do that in our walk with God, He has so many things for us to do, but we want to stand on the side of the pool with our float on, holding our nose counting to three, fearing to jump. Or maybe you are like me, you do cross the divide, experience the awesomeness of His presence for a moment and turn back to something else only to get paralyzed because you took your eyes of the mark.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
It would be silly to think that we could reach a mark we can’t see. Yet, we go through our lives more often than not just that way. If our eyes aren’t shut we are peering out through slits hoping that we just somehow survive the trip.
May I suggest that God has called you and equipped you with all the necessary tools and resources you need to make the journey and you are going to have to have a little faith. Even Paul said hey, I don’t claim to have all the answers or even know how it all works. This I do know; I am going to forget everything behind me and I am going to reach out to what is in front of me pushing as hard as I possibly can for that mark. The mark that Christ has already set for me, the mark that is so worth everything that I’m going to be asked to do. The mark that will cost everything I have, everything I own. I’m going to press forward or push myself as hard as I can to get to that mark because the prize is the very High calling of God and that is worth more than anything else.
We will never get to that mark or even to that attitude until we lay down our floats, throw off our fears, put our safety handbooks aside and put our backup plans away should our plan A fail. Take off the sunglasses, open your eyes and see the mark with eyes full of the same wide-eyed wonder of a child or the full-grown faith of child of God.
Who is standing at the edge of the pool you ask?
Who is just at the edge of the precipice?
Open your eyes~ See the Mark~
It’s in His nail scarred hands and His nail pierced feet~
I’m hid With Christ!
By the way the photo is the Grand Canyon and yes, it is the same ridge I stepped out on and I did make it back across and have a picture to prove it! I took it standing out there on that ledge so it’s all my own experience, my teachable moment~