Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Holding On

A couple friends of mine invited me to the lake on Saturday. Early in the day, we threw the water skis into the aqua and had at it.

I had only tried to water ski once in my life before Saturday, and I did not get up. Thus, I have never actually water skied, only tried but fallen before ever getting my body vertical. I attempted 11 times this weekend, making some improvements but only getting close to vertical one time. They say when I did my eyes got real big. Unfortunately, the position of actually water skiing felt so unusual and out of place that I panicked - and fell within two seconds of actually standing up.

The odd thing about my attempts is that I generally fell the same way for the same reason. Rather than letting the boat pull me out of the water, I would pull hard on the rope in an attempt to pull myself out of the lake. This created slack in the rope. When I leaned back, no rope tension caught me, and I would fall backwards.

One time, and one time only, I fell forward. I do not know how this happened, but within seconds of the boat speeding up, the front of my skiis went under the water, and I catapulted forward out of my skis and faceplanted. It was fun.

A lot of power exists in the act of water skiing. I could feel the power of the boat when it started to take off, a power a lot greater than me. I could feel the power of the force between arms and rope, skis and water. I could certainly feel the power when my mismanagement slung my helpless body to the water. So much power remains involved in this whole process that it makes it silly, ludicrous, and downright unintelligent that I should even think to pull myself up. Enough energy exists in the process that all I need to do is hold on for the ride.

So goes my relationship with the Almighty Sovereign. My shortcomings in water skiing paralleled my shortcomings in my relationship with the Father, those shortcomings being that I refuse to acknowledge my shortcomings and allow The Power to do the work. So often I refuse to pray, I work myself to a pulp, I stress over things I cannot control but want to, all because I neglect the role God plays in the work in my life. I speak as a Christian, work as an Atheist. I am constantly pulling back on the rope. More often than not, I fail to stand and topple backwards. Occasionally, I faceplant.

"BECAUSE YOU HAVE TRUSTED IN YOUR OWN WAY, in your numerous warriors, therefore a tumult will arise among your people, and all your fortresses will be destroyed, as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel on the day of battle, when mothers were dashed to pieces with their children." -Hosea 10:13-14 (emphasis mine)

Praise God that he continues to circle the boat to pick me back up when I try to do things in my own stregnth, fall into the lake, and miss the boat. The Fisher of Men has picked me up all 11 times, nay 111 times, and has promised to do so again.

We have a lot of power out in front of us, my friends. May we submit ourselves to it. May we pray to it. May we not fight against it. May we simply hold on tight so that we may stand.

So that we may take off on the rides of our lives.


Jeff said...

dude, i'm terrible at water skiing. Maybe worse than you.

His Little Joy said...

Thanks for that Ben. It was just the analogy I needed to hear today. This fundraising business is nasty stuff sometimes, and the desire for control is a huge battle. The sad thing is that striving for control wastes energy I could be putting towards ministry. And then of course I find myself questioning the Lord for my weary spirit. But He has called us to rest in HIS power. He establishes peace and all that we have accomplished He has done for us. One of my favorite worship songs says this:
"What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand." Maybe one day He will grant that our strivings would cease, and we will experience the joy of resting in His glory- for it is He that enables us to stand in the first place.

Tammy said...

What you write is very true - and something I really needed to hear at this point in my life. Whenever I start getting somewhere, it's because I've exhausted all my own strength and have stopped trying to do it on my own. It seems as soon as I do though, that I forget it's the boat that's pulling me, say "okay, I can take it from here," and let go. And promptly fall flat on my face. How amazing is the longsuffering of Christ!