“Don’t tense up like a rock, you have to be loose like a noodle ‘cuz noodles float and rocks sink.” -My swim instructor
I just started to pursue a dream of mine this week- surfing! But just as we must crawl before we can walk, we must swim before we can surf. Monday I started ocean based swimming lessons and I am already blown away by how much easier it is than I expected. I’m so much more comfortable in the water after just 2 lessons. I’m ready to go out and buy a wet suit to swim everyday! Well, maybe not everyday. But as I left the beach today, I felt like I was finally becoming part of the outdoorsy, water-sporty culture of the Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach area.
I have wanted to be able to swim for so long! Fear and lack of trust had me continually putting it off. I’ve felt so out of control in the ocean, unable to go any further than my feet can safely touch and scared of getting pulled away by a current I couldn’t see. Fear often keeps us from pursuing our dreams.
The most important skill by far that my instructor is teaching me is how to stay calm and communicate to him when I’m feeling out of breath or uncomfortable in any way. In doing that, I have to trust that he can pull me to safety if needed. That is so much like life and like following Jesus! In order to swim through life and avoid drowning as we pursue our dreams, we have to learn to stay calm in so many different circumstances and communicate to someone we trust when we’re getting overwhelmed and need help.
In parenting, I have to be honest with my husband about when I’m feeling overwhelmed and just need him to take over for a bit. All the laundry, the diapers, the spit up, the crying, the sleep fights, and the dishes can make me feel like I’ve been caught up in a riptide. Anxiety takes over quickly and causes me to sink if I don’t let him know what’s going on and how he can help. I have to do my best to communicate and stay as calm as possible to keep from completely sinking.
What I really need to learn, though, is that Jesus is someone I can trust, too. When the craziness of life gets to me and I’m struggling to breathe and my arms are tired of paddling and my lungs begin to burn from the salty water as the current drags me away from the safety of land, I have to learn to call out to Jesus for help. But just like swimming, I can’t panic and get stiff like a rock, I have to remain calm and loose like a noodle and trust that Jesus will pull me out of danger. We might have to get over a few waves first, but he knows what he’s doing. That’s why he’s the instructor and I’m now sitting here in the safety of my bed with ears full of water and salt covered skin, thankful that I’m finally learning to swim.
“But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”” Matthew 14:30-31 NLT