Aww, so inspiring isn't it?! People leaping off rocky cliffs into rippling green waters. There are a few already in, wading and watching. Get it... wading and watching... waiting and watching... never mind. So technically they aren't wading since they are fully immersed but the alliteration is lovely. The image has some kind of soft sepia muted color filter lending a dreamy quality. It looks so daring and exciting and inviting. It calls out to the wild abandon within. I like it. However as my blog title indicates, I've taken the leap and been treading water in that murky sea of discomfort for some time now. My life is less comfortable. Living as a foreigner is challenging. Leaping, so to speak, from land to sea is an all-in thing. There is no turning back mid-jump. Foreign cultures are a fascinating mystery that unfurls forever. Foreign language snarls and snags and tries to entangle and pull at you like a vicious undertow. Unfamiliar foods are both delicious and disgusting on the same plate. Extreme climate changes overwhelm and discourage. Simple tasks often become epic battles. People move in and out of your life at alarming rates making deep and sustained relationships rare. It is not for the faint of heart.
Yet... the bit about life beginning at the end of your comfort zone, or as I would put it, the agony of change becoming the crucible to new life, is true. The leaping and treading stretches and develops muscles you never knew you had. Mysteries that don't easily unravel make life bigger, grander. Learning a new language expands not only your vocabulary but becomes the conduit to new relationships. Your palate deepens as tastes are developed and grown. Epic battles become simple tasks. True friendship becomes one of the most valuable gifts. Acknowledged dependency on God becomes the tangible lifeline unfurling all the way into eternity.
I was recently reminded of how our God always untangles and frees us. Our enemy is a riddler set out to confuse and tie knots in our souls, he wants to imprison and shrink our lives into empty-nothingness . While God is constantly calling us into the deep. He leads us away from our small concerns and comforts to life lived without bounds. He takes us places within our hearts and without that stagger our limited understanding. As we press into the deep we grow straight and strong rather than twisted, stunted and indifferent. Satan divides. "I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone an give them a heart of flesh." -- Ezekiel 11:19 That delicate surgical procedure of removing cold, still stone hearts and replacing them with ones of flesh is painful and lengthy and terribly uncomfortable.
My friends dive into the deep! "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God." -- Isaiah 41:10 No challenge however uncomfortable or painful will overcome us. "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?... For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." -- Romans 8:35, 38-39