They say that when you fall overboard, your first instinct is to panic and breathe in water. You are supposed to, instead, close your mouth, take stock of your surroundings, and then take action. So easy for us fresh-air-breathing folks to declare.
Reading the book “Seven: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess”, by Jen Hatmaker, was a mistake. A mistake of epic proportions. The only way I can accurately describe how it made me feel is to say that I was in a pretty calm boat before I read it. That boat ride became mighty rocky with each passing chapter.
Ironic, isn’t it, that #2 on the U.S. Coast Guard’s list of 3 things to avoid doing if you don’t want to go overboard was this? “2. No sitting on the gunwales – the edge of the boat – even if you are holding on tight.” (taken from U.S. Coast Guard Auxillary here.) And, oh boy! Was I ever holding on tight!
But, unfortunately, I allowed myself to be pulled back under by the undertow of my daily reality. “Too busy.”, I said. “Not my cup of tea.”, I rationalized.
The tipping point is coming far too fast for my liking. I’ve been feeling this pull towards greater generosity. Less of me, more of Christ in me. It’s been unavoidable. And then, like a whispered truth that I’ve known all along, I’m swept along in this tidal wave of understanding. This desire stronger than the strongest current, to start acting on this truth that I’ve always felt in my heart of hearts, but was unable to give voice to.
I must be the hands and feet of Christ in this very place that I live in. Not just talk about it or sing about it. No. Not even just read about it. Be the very hands and feet in any way I can!
Much like any other crisis situation or circumstance, going overboard will require much of me. I’m more than a tad bit afraid of what it’s going to feel like. What changing my daily behavior is going to look like. How long will I feel as though I’m struggling for breath?
This is no light undertaking. Trust me when I tell you that there are moments where I think these thoughts and feel like I’m attempting to water-board my very self! Harsh image, isn’t it? It feels every inch as harsh to think it. Harsher still to feel it. Viscerally.
And so, I am about to embark on some major changes, internally. I’m still working out the details. There are far too many sharks waiting for me and my sea-legs need far too much firming up, for me to willingly go overboard at this moment. But I know it’s in my future. And I’m strangely okay with that.
What have you read lately that left your life boat rocky?