Off The Deep End

Back in the day, my mom signed me up for swimming lessons.
I don’t know why. I’ve always hated swimming…

But every morning at nine, my mom dropped me off at the Urbandale pool where, along with a dozen other under-enthusiastic elementary students, I learned the basics of trying not to drown.

Our teacher tried really hard to get us excited about holding on to the side of the pool and kicking at the water. He told us that, if we practiced hard enough, at the end of the week we could jump of the diving board.

This got my attention. Even though I hate swimming, I love diving (or at least the thought of it, since up until now I had never tried to dive).

So I started to practice hard.
I held onto the side of the pool and kicked at the water.
I held my breath under water while all the other kids would count, to see how long I could stay down.
I even tried fruitlessly to retrieve those stupid rings my teacher would toss to the bottom of the pool (I was, and still am, terrified of opening my eyes under water).

Finally Friday rolled around. We each lined up at the diving board (I was third in line) and one by one, jumped into the water and swam to the ladder.

This was the most fun I had ever had. I jumped in and started swimming, my teacher right by my side cheering me on.

As my fingers grasped the ladder, “Victory” ran through every fiber of my being.

Fast forward a few weeks…

I was in Alta visiting my cousins Jason and Jessica.
The three of us ventured to the town pool. When we got there, and I saw the diving board, I knew this was my perfect chance to show off my diving skills.

I made a big deal to both my cousins about how great I was at swimming, and had them both come watch me dive.

I walked to the edge of the diving board with full confidence.
I checked to make sure Jason and Jessica are both watching.
I leaped into the water…
…and sunk like a rock.

The lifeguard had to pull me out of the pool.

It took me several years to figure out what went so horribly wrong.

When I took my dive during swimming lessons, my teacher wasn’t just beside me to cheer me on.
My teacher was holding me up.
My teacher carried me to safety.
I couldn’t swim at all with out my teacher there.

A lot of times in my life, when things start going well, it’s easy for me to think about how great I am. How smart I am. How cool I am.
How many people read my blog.
It’s easy to forget that God’s holding me up through it all.