Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Shallows

The cool Water kissed the top of my feet as it rolled in with the gentle tide. I buried my toes in the soft sand, enjoying the consistency of the Water’s slow rhythm. Every day I would come to stand in the frothy Waves, settling comfortably in the calm predictability of the shallows.
Upon a morning when I happened to chance a look over the expanse of the Water before me, a single Wave seemed to beckon – not as a taunt, but as a subtle encouragement or whispered invitation. I was captivated by this oddity and found my legs slowly carrying me forward in response. The shallows licked at my ankles as the Water rose and began to climb up my calves. At first, I didn’t register that the Water was now hugging my waist, so fixed was I in my trance. The Wave continued to draw me out, though not forcefully, yet something inside me found it impossible to resist. Forward still I pressed.
As the Water splashed over my shoulders, my concentration was broken long enough for me to realize where I stood. My heart beat ferociously as I gauged the distance I had traveled from land, then turned to assess the enormity of that which stretched before me. I could turn back and be welcomed by the comfort of the shallows once more, or I could commit to the uncertainty of the depths which stretched ahead. Panic seized me momentarily while my mind wrestled with the two choices, but then my eye caught sight of the Wave again. So serene and peaceful, I heard it whisper my name. Was it my name? Closing my eyes, I listened again, holding my breath. Faint, and barely audible, it seemed to sing my name, calling me forward...

(To Be Continued...)

I’ve found it can become ritualistic to wake up every morning and become comfortable with standing in the shallows. From above water you can see what is happening, what is coming your way, and because of your position you feel you have more control over your situations. The shallows are calm... predictable... safe. Here you don’t have to worry about taking risks, or entering into the unknown. Sure, things appear pleasant and even enjoyable, but by standing in the shallows there’s no movement, no progression towards something greater, no concept of anything beyond where you stand. Your vision is narrow and your experiences are minimal.

God is urging us to remove ourselves from the safety nets we have wrapped ourselves in and encourages us to step forward with Him into new experiences. He doesn’t force Himself upon us, but rather reaches out in love and waits for us to make the choice – do we stay where we are and live comfortably, or, in an act of faith, do we take the step to go deeper with Him?

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