Snorkeling and the Kingdom
Some would say that I have an over active imagination. This makes swimming in lakes and oceans sometimes a mental test for me. I start to imagine all the living creatures underneath me, then I imagine them swimming around me, and then before long they are nibbling my toes. This makes snorkeling a challenge sometimes. Greg is certified as a scuba diver–he loves to swim under the water, and take a look at all the different ocean creatures. It always takes me a bit to be able to relax while snorkling. At first, I can’t see anything, I’m so focused on not getting caught up in a current, or in making sure I can see Greg, and that there are no sharks within my vicinity. Sometimes I get so afraid and panicky that it takes Greg holding me by my hand and showing me the fish–the amazing, multi colored fish, creatures, coral etc. Then all of a sudden I’m on an amazing adventure.
I think that the Kingdom is a bit like snorkling. We’ve been invited on this amazing adventure to see God’s Kingdom here on earth. Some of us are content to just sit on the shore and have the waves of His Kingdom roll over our legs. We know that one day we will be fully immersed in heaven…and we have no expectations of anything more this side of death. Some of us want to venture into more than just a ticket to heaven, but we are so afraid of being duped, led astray, or being weird that we can’t see anything. Others of us are moving so fast it is like we are water skiing on the water and then frustrated that we don’t see fish. So we slow down, get off the boat and start treading water.
God has given us the tools to snorkel, or even scuba dive, to see into a world that we can’t with our plain eye. But it isn’t automatic…just because we are by the ocean does not mean we will see clown fish. Just because we accept Jesus doesn’t mean we will automatically see angels and hear God’s voice. We can tread water, have waves roll over us, or water ski on the water without seeing into the world below.
Just like knowing what is beneath the waves makes the ocean more interesting, knowing who else is in the room with us, or what God is up to makes my days more interesting. It takes practice, learning, much like snorkeling and scuba diving. It takes training my eyes and ears to see and hear things in a different way and moving in love not fear. Fear clouds everything. It involves living from love, not for love, from peace not for peace. The other day I was overwhelmed, tired and was driving to have dinner with some people. I felt empty. As I was driving I asked Jesus to help me get through the dinner. All of a sudden, I felt a gentle wave roll over. With it came peace. I relaxed. Another wave rolled over me. I breathed a little deeper. In a minute I felt rested, refreshed. Holy Spirit was with me and I was aware of another person in the room that I could lean on. It was as if instead of treading water I dove down under and became aware of a whole other reality…
God is good. All the time. All the time. God is good. and this good God is with us and wants to show us a world that is better than we could ask for or even imagine–here on earth as it is in heaven.