It was a typical summer day in Chico in the mid 1970’s and I was so happy to get to swim in our neighbor’s pool. I can’t remember how old I was, but I can tell you that I was not yet an accomplished swimmer. At that point I could barely stand in the shallow part of the pool with my head above water, so any other journeys to the deep end meant I needed to hold onto the side. I made constant trips, hand over hand around the pool, and at one point I decided that it was time for me to launch out and swim from one side to the other. I thought my momentum would carry me across the distance – until it didn’t.
When I got about half way across, I panicked and started to sink. My arms flailed and seemed to forget any kind of swimming stroke or order. Terror filled my heart and water flowed into my air passage, until the teenage boy who lived there plunged into the water and lifted me up, and to the side of the pool. After minutes of coughing and a bit of frightened crying, I decided to simply lay on the pool deck and determine whether I would risk getting back in. I was embarrassed. As a first born kid, I figured I should be able to do anything without trouble or need of assistance. I was the big brother – I was the one who was supposed to help, not be rescued.
Think about the “drowning” moments in your past when someone has lifted you up right before you went down the last time. What comes to mind? I’m sure gratitude and if you’re like me, some regret or embarrassment that you made choices that led you into that situation in the first place.
Some of the most difficult moments in our lives are a result of not asking two questions.
1) What are the resources I need to move forward?
2) Who do I know that can help me, teach me, or coach me in it?
At the pool that day were kick boards, “floaty” toys, and probably even water wings that I could have used to make my “across pool adventure” a better one. It was my pride alone that kept me from embracing any of these tools.
There was an assumption I made that since I was a big boy, I should be able to swim on my own, that I didn’t need help from anyone else. I didn’t want to admit that I couldn’t accomplish my goal on my own and ask the teenage boy to help me learn.
As God calls you to live into the destiny He has for you, have you been asking these same two questions? God has dreams for you – what you are becoming (being) and what you are to accomplish (doing). These two things are at the core of His calling on your life. Though God has special things on His heart for you individually, you won’t be able to grow into them on your own. He has created us to be dependent on Him for the power to live and move ahead, and He has created us to be living and learning this adventure out in the community of the Church. The body of Christ is one of the analogies that the Bible uses to describe the interdependence of the parts of the body. We are the people who make up His family, and families need one another to be fully healthy and thrive.
Do you find yourself isolated from the family of God?
Do you find yourself stuck in moving toward the dreams God has for you?
I want to encourage you to be people who seek God (first) in prayer for the resources that you will need for the next season of your journey. The book of James tells us that we do not have because we aren’t asking God – who is the giver of all good things, every perfect gift given in perfect timing. Those perfect gifts are sometimes physical things, but also can include a gift of His wisdom, peace, confirmation, or even a spiritual gift.
Even when God gives you the resources you need, without others to journey with in the adventure of your life, you will find yourself lacking. Lacking in wisdom, experience, and the encouragement you will need to really risk (live in faith) and move into God’s great future. It may be time for you to risk by asking someone else to talk through what God is doing in your life and listen to their counsel.
It is my prayer today that these two questions will lead you to seek Jesus for your future and the help of others on the road with you.
-Andrew Burchett, Lead Pastor