From the day my Dad and brother first tossed me into the pool to force me to learn how to swim, (great story for another day) I have felt completely at home in the water. Ya know, once I learned how to swim. Most every summer day of my childhood after that included riding my bike to swim in the pool nearby or hopping back and forth from the pool to the ocean when we were down at the beach.
In high school, I swam on the swim team, (big time sprinter here), helped coach a kids swim team, surfed a little and lifeguarded as a summer job. I felt just as comfortable holding my breath while swimming from one end of the pool to the other as I felt twirling my whistle on the lifeguard stand.
Fast forward a good seven years. I had the opportunity to take a crash course on scuba diving and then head out for the day to dive around Sodwana Bay in South Africa. Beautiful location, great opportunity.
Holding my breath for ages was not a problem, but the idea that I’d be twenty feet below the surface breathing from an Oxygen tank for an extended period — I just couldn’t get used to it.
I’d been through the “educational” part of the diving training, and it was time to practice in the pool. I was psyching myself up to be able to give it the good old college try. Mouthpiece clenched between my teeth, three feet below the surface, we got to one part in the lesson where you have to pretend to knock your mouthpiece out of your mouth (because someone else’s flipper could do that underwater). Then you slowly stretch your arm out, grasp the mouthpiece, clear the water from it and begin breathing again.
That *slowly* thing was what got me. I could snatch the mouthpiece out of my mouth, grab it, stuff it back in and clear it, five seconds flat. What the instructor was looking for was that I could handle slowly, purposefully removing it, and not panicking to get it clenched in my teeth again.
I tried it. It was unsatisfactory. She pointed to someone else to take a turn. She asked me to try again. Once again, I was changing tires on a Nascar track. Fast. She demonstrated again, the art of slowly removing the mouthpiece, letting it fall to her side, gracefully stretching her arm out, gently bringing the piece back, and so on.
After three or four attempts, I pointed, much less gracefully, to indicate that I was headed for the surface to breathe some Oxygen that wasn’t inside a compressed tank.
I don’t know exactly what it was about the breathing underwater thing that just didn’t gel with me. I opted for a long luxurious walk down a deserted beach instead that day — and really enjoyed it — but also knew I’d missed out on some of the special sights below sea level that day.
The trouble was — I just couldn’t slow down.
Does not wisdom cry out,
And understanding lift up her voice?
She takes her stand on the top of the high hill,
Beside the way, where the paths meet.
She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city,
At the entrance of the doors:
“To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is to the sons of men.
O you simple ones, understand prudence,
And you fools, be of an understanding heart.
Listen, for I will speak of excellent things,
And from the opening of my lips will come right things…
A couple of years ago, a lovely group of subscribers joined me on a Deep Dive — a 30 Day journey through the book of Proverbs. We read a chapter each day, and enjoyed the insight and revelation that came from a book that is so timeless it’s somehow always timely. It seems to speak to everything.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at the idea of inheritance — this beautiful theme that runs a unique-colored thread throughout the pages of Scripture. One of the most important things to notice is that we often miss out on our inheritance simply because we don’t know what is rightfully ours. We might have some knowledge, but we are lacking wisdom, we are starved more understanding.
So I’m taking a lesson from the day I just couldn’t slow down enough to earn the opportunity to dive deeper and offering an invitation for you to join me. We’re going to begin slowly walking through Proverbs again, listening hard for Wisdom as she cries out from a high hill, searching for an understanding heart.
You’re welcome to open your email as usual each week to jump into thoughts and reflections on each chapter, but I’d love to also invite you to consider doing two things — investments that I think will provide greater dividends:
1. I’ll post a link to the chapter of Proverbs we’re walking through each week, right at the top of the email. (We’ll be going in order, starting at chapter one.) You can read each week’s chapter, slowly throughout the week leading up to each Wednesday, or you can just click that link when Wednesday’s email arrives, and read that chapter just before you jump into the thoughts. Again — you’re absolutely allowed to not read it, but I think reading that one chapter each week really will pay off.
2. Invite a friend to join you on the journey. This link will allow them to subscribe and receive the emails, too. See if you can take a moment to talk with that friend/spouse/roommate/coworker about that one chapter of Proverbs — just one little thing that struck you in a new way for the first time, or really spoke to you. The thing is, the more we give a little of our daily thoughts to thinking about God, the more He guides us and helps us to see Him, to understand Him and to know what He is like. You’ll be amazed at the compound interest that explodes out of investing in the things of God.
3. (Yes, I said two — this is just an optional fun idea.) If you’d like to — not homework, no pressure — I’d love to welcome you to share something that was meaningful to you from that week’s chapter. Share it on the Facebook Page of With Love, From Here, or just shoot me an email. I’d love to include a “Reader’s Thought” each week if I can just to add a bit more encouragement!
This time around, I’m hoping I can slow down enough to clear the mask, get the Oxygen flowing and graduate from the swimming pool to the deeper waters. I hope you’ll join me and look forward to what we’ll discover together!
Ready to dive in? Me too.
I hope you’re encouraged today, friend.
If so, I’d love to welcome you to subscribe here for a weekly dose of encouragement.
Invitation link to copy/paste share: https://mailchi.mp/020d35a1133b/subscribe-caroline-collie