Speaking, Swimming, Striding: Saviour sans Self
Tonight, I saw “The King’s Speech” for the first time. Without spoilers, it’s about Prince Albert, (current Queen Elizabeth II’s father) who had a severe speech impediment, and his speech therapist. Like many speech impediments, it was not due to mechanical deformities in his body, but a psychosomatic disability due to early childhood (emotional) trauma. When he sang, was empassioned, or couldn’t hear himself, he was able to speak without stammering. In short, when he was too busy mentally to think about how he sounded, he sounded fine.
How often is it the case in our lives that when we can free our minds from worrying about a problem, the problem goes away—headaches, self confidence, two left feet, and so on. Perhaps, this is a large part of why Scripture calls us to focus on Christ and His glory, not on ourselves. We aren’t that important—He is, so taking our minds off of ourselves and putting our attention to higher things frees us to achieve those higher things, and allows His Spirit to move through us and not work against us.
When teaching a young child to swim, the parent does not simply throw the child in and let the kid figure it out. It is the unknown, a fearful and dangerous environment to the kid. Instead, the parent goes out from the edge of the pool, already in the water, facing the young one. The adult holds out their arms to their child, calling for them to jump. The kid, watching the parent the whole time, jumps, hitting the water and thrashing, but still looking to their protector who encourages and calls. Even when the child dips under, the first thing their eyes seek out upon reaching the surface is the face of trust. The adult slowly, smoothly steps backward, away from the new swimmer, forcing them to keep trying, but the moment there is a true falter, rushes in, scooping the child into their arms and to safety. And then they do it again.
This is the life of faith. Christ calls us into the unknown, promising to be with us always. No, we can’t see with our eyes, but only with the eyes of faith. But He is there, His eyes on us, slowly leading us through deep waters, and when we falter or tire, scoops us up and comforts. He lets us go under, but never lets us go down. It is when we stop looking to Him and examine our progress that we start taking on water.
Kinda like Peter getting out of the boat to join Jesus in the middle of the lake. When he took his eyes off of Christ, he began to sink, yet he had the faith to call out, and instantly Christ was there, supporting him.
What do you think: does knowing that make it worthwhile for you to get out of the boat?