I don’t know how any of you get in a swimming pool. I’m a “dipper.” I dip a toe in and measure whether I can handle it or not. Then I ease in foot, leg, body, until I can work myself up to a quick dunk. I know I make ridiculous postures and noises and absurd complaints the whole time I’m working my way in. We all know that the end goal is that I will be in and wet from head to toe. But I treat it like a process.
Then you have my children. They are “jumpers.” “Great, it’s cold but it’s not going to get any warmer so here I go” – and they jump. All at once. It’s a much shorter process for them and the shock is probably much less on their bodies. Here’s the kicker – I’m the one who taught them that! I can’t tell you how many times I have told them, “Just jump in! It will be over and done. It will only be harder if you drag it out.” And not just about the pool either. Just get in there and clean your room. Just buckle down and knock the homework out. Just grab the end of the band-aid and pull it off quickly. The sooner you start, the sooner you’re done.
Achieving whole-hearted committment is much like getting in the pool. When we first meet Christ and are infants of faith, we tend to jump right in. We want everyone to know and we want to learn as much as we can and introduce as many people as we can to this incredible faith we have. Then we start to “mature” (which I really think ends up being quite the opposite for many) and God starts to call us to more challenging kingdom building – lead a Bible Study, go on a mission trip, faithfully tithe or go above and beyond tithe, serve in an area we have never served in before – and suddenly, we really want to be dippers.
Let me measure the cost, God. Let me see how it fits in my schedule. Not sure that really fits with the budget, God. Let me squeak a little. Let me twist around it a little. Let me whine and complain as much as possible about this calling. Let me just ignore the pool altogether. Let me do it, but let me do it my way. It isn’t really my calling to LEAD the study God – let me just pray for the leader. That’s where You gifted me.
I think God knows how He gifted us. I’m notorious for this one. Yeah, God. That’s a really great idea but that’s not what You called me to and how You gifted me. How crazy arrogant of me to tell God what He did!!
I think God intended for all of us to be faith “jumpers.”
Deuteronomy 6:5 (but you should REALLY read the whole chapter for full effect)
You shall love the LORD you God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your might.
The capital “alls” in there are mine unless you have a really great Bible I haven’t come across yet. There is no room for dipping. God wants all of us to be fully committed to His call. We may not believe we are gifted to be teachers, or prayer warriors or small group leaders, but isn’t that when God really shows up? When we are lacking, He sweeps in and bolsters us.
I think that’s what He really wants. Reliance. Sometimes I feel like the words “faith” and “trust” have been somehow diluted. Reliance – confident or trustful dependence (Thank you dictionary.com again!) That says “I know I don’t have enough on my own. But I depend on you to be the rest and I know you will come through.”
It is my encouragement today that when you find yourself faced with a call or a task that is bigger than you or your resources, know that you have Someone to rely on. God has the rest. He asked you to do it and He will make sure it will be done.
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
All you have to do is jump.