Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Learn To Swim

There's a commercial on TV for Traveler's Insurance depicting a man with constructed "wings" standing at the top of an old stone bridge that crosses a wide river outside a small village. The entire town is out to see this feat, wondering if the man will succeed in flying.

He stands on the precipice summoning his courage, looking out over the river from his height at the center of the bridge. Finally, he spreads his "wings" and jumps out over the water. The wings catch the air and he begins to soar.

In astonishment, one of the towns-people exclaims, "He can fly!" Just then he loses altitude and crashes into the river.

An old man looks at the scene and responds, "But he can't swim."

It's like that for us sometimes. We try something new and courageous, and just when we think we've "got it", we "fall into the water" and are faced with new challenges. Most of us want to simply give up and quit trying.

I say let's learn to swim.

2 comments:

John W. said...

I have seen the commercial and I am similarly inspired. I agree that we should learn to swim in order to free ourselves to try the "impossible."

There is another inspirational picture I have seen in this commercial. When I saw the ad, I first thought, did he forget that he could not swim? Where did he think he would land, if not in the water? Then I thought, I have felt this way, and it reminded me of a feeling I have gotten in following my faith.

I have seen in others and myself, opportunities that mirror that courageous man. Faced with the paradox of having a unique ability and a difficiency. A scenario for which I can recount several incidents. Perhaps you could say Moses with speaking to the Pharaoh, yet without the ability of clear speech would be one. Or Joshua at Jericho. And Gideon. There are also modern day versions, often unsung.

I have seen God give a person an ability to conquer a unique challenge, flight over water, yet hold back the ability of a simpler (required?) ability, swimming. (Perhaps to discourage pride?)

I believe a key to growth in life inclusive of faith, is to know when to learn to swim and when you don't need to. And that difference based on knowing God's voice.

To that I suggest a suffix to your "learn to swim", "if needed". Not by ability but by faith on hearing the voice of the Lord.

Brad Lewis said...

John W.-
Excellent insight! Yes, learn to swim, if required.