I never learned to swim very well, but I do remember the swimming lessons–probably because I did so poorly and dreaded them so much! I especially remember learning to dive. I would climb the tall ladder up to the diving board of our local indoor pool (it was Wyoming; there aren’t a lot of outdoor pools) in anxious anticipation of the coming dive. I could barely hear the teacher shouting above the noise of the pool: “Keep your head right–everything else will follow.” Well, somehow, I would always find another place to focus… I would look at the teacher to see if I was doing it right; my head would be wrong, and I would belly flop. Then I would look at the other kids to see if they were watching me. Another messed up dive. I then noticed that the other kids kept their feet together. I started worrying about that and forgot to keep my head right. Again I would perform a successful flop–and some of those mess-ups hurt. I didn’t know water could be so painful.
Years later as I started trying to help people in their Christian life, I remembered the lessons of the high-dive and realized how important it was to keep our heads right. If we focus on God, then the rest of the body will follow. However, even though we hear our Teacher telling us to focus on Him, we sometimes start looking at others around us and end up getting hurt. Other times we start watching our hands and feet and what they are doing, and again we get hurt. It is so important to keep our heads in the right place, the safe place, the only place–focused on God.
Photo credit: Julie Escobar