Monday, June 9, 2008

Submerged

Growing up I was like a fish during the summer months. I loved to be in the water.

I could not understand my friends who would take a quick dip in the pool and then sweat for hours to perfect their tan. Nor could I relate to those who refused to go under for fear of messing up their hair.

I loved to be submerged in the water: my hair flowing all around, water passing through my fingers, the sense of weightlessness as I flipped and swirled and dove deep. I’d dive to the bottom of the pool and sit as long as my lungs could take it or swim back and forth the length of the pool as many times as I could before coming up for air. And I’d challenge anyone to an underwater summersault-a-thon. (I always won.)

My mom tells stories of how I hated swimming at first, of how I fought my swim teacher and cried when she made me go under. I have no recollection of this. Once I learned to swim, running through the sprinkler lost its appeal and not even our beloved slip-n-slide would suffice. I’d rather be in a pool. Submerged. Swimming in the water, not playing near it.

Recently God brought to mind this childhood fascination of mine as he has been challenging me to be “submerged” in his love, to “swim” in his joy.

Often in life we settle for a “sprinkle” of love or a “dip” in joy. We have brief moments where we open ourselves to God and receive his love. We have brief encounters when we let go of our control and experience his joy. But then against all logic we hop out, towel off and bake ourselves to a crisp in the heat and trials of life. Yet a sprinkle here and a dip there won’t do. We were made to swim in it, to be submerged in his love.

“Abide in my love,” Christ tells us. (John 15:9)

But how do we do that? The same way we learn to swim. We take lessons and we practice. Prayer times are the lessons. Daily consistency is the practice. This is how we learn to enter into the mystery of God’s great love for us. Prayer is where we experience God’s presence, his grace, his mercy, his transforming power, his unending joy. And the more we pray, the more we can carry that presence, grace, mercy, power and joy throughout our day. We can “swim” in it all day long.

As we journey forward through ordinary time we may be tempted to settle for a sprinkle here or a dip there. Don’t settle.

Take a deep breath, jump in, and learn to be submerged in God’s great love.

“The more we pray, the more we wish to pray. Like a fish which at first swims on the surface of the water, and afterwards plunges down, and is always going deeper; the soul plunges, dives, and loses itself in the sweetness of conversing with God.” St. John Vianney

4 comments:

Soul Pockets said...

Beautiful

I needed to read this today and remember it always.

Lauren Gulde said...

Sarah,

You HAVE A GIFT girl!!! Every time I see that you have posted something, I get excited, even before I read it. Something about the way you see the world and your faith just gives me so much joy and hope. Thank you for your faithfulness and your willingness to share your thoughts with us. I haven't met you, but would love to someday. I've probably passed you dozens of times at St. Mary's and didn't know it! Many blessings to you!

veronica said...

so true, so true...
thank you for the encouragement!
God bless you!

Sarah said...

Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement! It is nice to know God can use these little moments to touch others! He is so good and faithful!!! :)