While we were at camp, we stayed in some amazing condos on the beach. I love the ocean, and went swimming in it every day during free time. Our condo complex also had a large pool complex. The only time I got in the pool was to dip my foot in to rinse any lingering sand off.
Sometimes God uses the things around me to illustrate spiritual truths. The week of camp I began thinking about the pool vs. the ocean. While I love the vastness of the ocean, and really sense God's presence there, I can understand while many choose the pool. The pool is clean and chlorinated with no seaweed or fish poop. The pool is safer with no dangerous tides and plenty of places to avoid the sun's rays. The pool is entertaining; it has a lazy river, a slide, and fun music. The pool is easy; you can buy snacks and drinks right where you are. To sum it up, the pool is a controlled environment. And God began to cause me to ponder where I was choosing pools over oceans in my life.
The last session of camp, Louie told us we can choose to star in "The Story of Me," which will last only a brief time before fading from memory in the light of the glory of God, or we can have a bit part in "The Story of God," a story which will stand forever.
The final song we sang was "Our God," and, as I sang, God shaped the lyrics, my thoughts about pools and oceans, and Louie's talk into a cohesive thought: To stay where I was would be choosing the safety, comfort, and control of the pool over the vastness, majesty, and joy of the ocean. And, for me, the ocean was joining my husband in this journey of planting a church. I'm NOT saying that everyone who goes to the church we had been a part of were settling for less than God's story; for many, that IS their ocean! But it isn't mine. I knew this wouldn't always be easy or safe, but I also knew God is leading us here, so I have to go.
As we left the auditorium for the last time, I leaned over to Paul and said, "I'm sure."
**I have nothing against pools or those who love them and choose them over the ocean. God just used my own love of the ocean to illustrate a point that I needed to know!