When it comes to getting in Lake Michigan I am not the “run out and dive under the waves” type. I’m more the “wade in slowly, hands over my head, complaining to my sister as I gradually get used to it” type of person. I may—or may not—put my head underwater. I’m the cautious sort when it comes to cold water.
I hope I am not as cautious when it comes to my faith life, but I fear sometimes I am. In a recent devotional reading, the author wrote: “Too many people who claim to love Jesus are just dipping their toe into the pool and claiming that they are swimming. Living differently is a cannonball into a pool of endless possibilities that a life with Christ has to offer.” (“Doing Things That Matter” on YouVersion)
That sentence also brought up a memory. Growing up in the 1970s, a group of families camped together at Silver Lake in Michigan each summer. One of the men, Ed, was a big guy—6’2” and close to 300 lbs. We liked to load him up with firewood at the $5 for all you can carry store and really get our money's worth.
The campground had an indoor pool, and we kids loved to swim when we got back from the lake—it was more fun than taking a shower. We’d be paddling around when Ed would walk into the pool area, run off the diving board, and do a “cannonball!” into the pool. We immediately started swimming madly to grab the edge of the pool as waves swamped us. Even though we would occasionally swallow a mouthful of water, we loved it and wanted him to do it again.
Living out my faith should be like doing a cannonball. My life should look different and feel different. My faith should “swamp” others in the water. I want to make an impact for God--make a mighty splash that can't go unnoticed. I don't want to keep paddling around aimlessly. Spiritually, I am feeling more as if I want to get a running start, shout “cannonball!” and cause a huge splash as I jump into the pool, sending waves over everyone in the water!