You know that scene in Finding Nemo when Dory and Marlin are swimming deep into a bottomless, dark cavern? Marlin, Nemo's Dad, has no idea where they're going or what will happen next, yet his friend Dory is happily singing "Just keep swimming!" The two of them together sum up my special mom split-personality perfectly. Some days I am overwhelmed by changes, unsure of where I'm going and what will happen next. But other days, when I'm at my best, I can happily sing to myself, "just keep swimming!"
2018 was absolutely chock full of changes. There have been moments this past year where I wanted to just stop in my tracks and stare into the abyss like Marlin. I've even been tempted to swim backwards a little bit.
And I actually LIKE change. When it comes one change at a time. Or when I get to plan and prepare for the change. I'm usually the change initiator. I love to change my hair, home decor, routine, anything to spice things up. But sometimes change falls like a ton of bricks. When you feel like you don't have the energy to even dig out of that pile, as I have felt lately, all we have to do is "just keep swimming!"
Listen to the way James says it (as translated in The Message)
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.
Don't try to get out of it prematurely, and don’t "worry your prayers." I love that! It really is as basic as: are you Marlin or are you Dory? Today I'm just going to keep on swimming. Trusting that all these changes are doing "their work so that I become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way." Isn't that why we avoid changes? To avoid deficiencies. We think "I can't do this, I'll be missing that."
James says that challenges help us overcome our deficits. I am especially guilty of trying to spare Nick for change because he loves and craves routine. I have to trust that even for my special guy, the Bible is true and he is not excluded from biblical principles. These changes hold the promise of lots of maturity and development for him, if I can help him through the challenge. I will help him keep swimming as I do so myself.
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