Friday, July 22, 2011

More than Treading Water

I haven't posted in several months.

It seems to be the current state of my life — full of the best of intentions, with desires to do what's right for me, my family and my current economic outlook. But I just can't see to bring myself to the final step.

I have a test in two weeks, one that will dramatically determine the direction my life takes in the forthcoming years. It's called the GRE, and it's required for admission into graduate school. I haven't taken a test, enrolled in a class or completed an assignment in two years. And so, needless to say, this step terrifies me. What if I don't do as well as I expect? What if my best efforts aren't good enough to further my education? What if I find I'm just not good enough for a goal that's been mine since junior high?

Fear and doubt are paralyzing me, making me float in a river of mediocrity for the past several months. And the interesting thing about floating is you never see yourself taking a step back. I don't feel like I've degressed in life — but I'm sure I have. Physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually; the longer I float, the more I feel myself being drained at the end of each day.

And that's when I realize I'm not the only swimmer in this pool. All around me are people doing the same thing, trying to stay afloat in a tide that is constantly changing and threatening to capsize us with every wave, great or small. Sometimes, it's all we can do to tread water, float along the pool's surface, keep our mouths inches above the element so that we may gasp for air.

But there is one who promises we can make it. The Master who walked on water in his mortal ministry is there so that we can do more than tread water, but actively swim against a current that beats, batters and belittles us at every turn. All it takes is a little faith; and, like the apostle Peter, we realize that's the hardest part.

But He is there. He stands on the water, with an arm outstretched, pleading for us to take His head and walk with Him to the shore.

Jesus Christ has borne our sins, our transgressions, our iniquities, our trials, our temptations, our sickness and our ailments. And he promises that, despite all those imperfections, we can make it to shore — if we just push a little harder, swim a little faster, have a little more faith.

And sometimes, just tread a little more water.

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