05 May 2008

The Duck Chlorinator

When I was in elementary school, my parents moved my brother and I who were both asthmatic and severely allergic to everything to southern Florida. They bought a house with a pool. I can remember my very first experience with that pool and swimming was my dad throwing me out into the middle of the deep end. I guess he thought I would instinctively start to swim like a dog. I didn't. I sunk like.a.rock. This has painted an interesting picture of my life. I am always hitting deep water with no real idea what to do once I get in there, and have to figure out the hard way how to keep from sinking.
This wasn't exactly where this post started.
What I was really thinking about was the duck. After my brother and I learned to swim, there was always a third party in the pool with us - this little plastic duck that floated around with chlorine tablets in the bottom of it. I remember Rob and I would play with it, tipping its beak down and watch it pop back up again, righting itself every single time. Usually about the time we were really having fun, my mom would stick her head out the screen door and yell, "Leave the g*dd*mn duck alone!" which was about all the religion I had growing up.
The thing is that recently I have been thinking about some things, discussing things, reading books about things that are outside of casual Christian thinking - things like the feminine attributes of God, is there a literal hell, does God really approve of war, or would God really send someone to hell that had never heard the gospel??? I have found that I make a lot of people uncomfortable, even when I am opening the topics up for discussion, having formed no real conclusion one way or the other, but wanting to just toss it about a bit with other thoughtful human beings. My husband was one of the fallout victims today. I could see that the topic at hand freaked.him.out completely.
The thing is that inside of that little duck that floated around our pool when I was a kid, there was something inside that always set things upright. No matter how that duck got tipped, pounded in a heavy rain, buffeted by winds, it always floated right side up.
I used to be scared of some of the things I have been thinking about lately as well, but now I'm more scared of pat answers, 12 step plans, and the formulaic approach to spiritual matters. I don't have to be afraid of probing the hard questions. I pray for discernment, and I know that just like our chlorine duck, there is something inside of me that always sets me right side up again - His name is Jesus.


  1. Good stuff, Julie. Thanks for sharing this. I find myself swimming in the same deep ends these days.

  2. My stabilizer's name is Jesus too. After reading this, I am trying to discern whether I would be one of those people who would be uncomfortable with such topics. I had a family member who once was seeking, filling a void in his life, and he started exploring different aspects of spirituality outside of the "norm", such as the feminine aspects of God, etc. I found myself praying that he would just focus on Jesus, who is The Truth, because going down the road he was on seemed to distract him from keeping Jesus the main thing. Maybe it is just a personality thing, but I am more like, "who gives a rip about the details, I am just going to stick with what I know is true, cause that is enough!" I am not saying that this applies to you, it is just what your post caused me to remember.
    BTW, glad to hear you are back to your script- I was wondering about that, but kinda got that you had other things going on!

  3. This is good stuff Jewls.

    I'm to tired to blog so here I am checking on you.

    Jesus rocks the world, some people are just afraid to admit it.

    It doesn't mean we all think the same or believe the same.

    I am not like many Christians some would maybe call me less than because I'm not full of thou shalt nots, I'm free because Christ set me free.
    God knows your heart and mind and HE will lead you in the right direction.

    I question things all the time and I pray very matter of factly, God knows me and he knows you too.

    He gave you that brain so keep using it!

    I actually thank him all the time that he gave me a brain and the ability to think and question and learn, so many people don't use theirs they just mindlessly follow the crowd or the loudest voice or strongest personality.

    You can thank public school and religious indoctrination for that.

  4. Very good analogy.

    You know, I am right there with you on those topics. So far, I haven't freaked my husband out yet. LOL!

  5. "His name is Jesus". AMEN!!!

    I like to think about and discuss different offbeat topics. Of course, I don't have the answers, but we need to know how we feel about all of those things. We can't just go thru life not knowing where we stand. As long as the first book we consult is the Bible, we can't go wrong. I refuse to accept an answer that is contrary to it. People would be surprised at how many of those answers are actually in there!lol

  6. Your questions don't make Jesus sad or angry. He has all the answers and is always there to 'right you' when you get sideways.

    The thing is, we have to look to Him for the answers. So much of our pop culture does not like His answers so they make up their own.

    I think that is what makes God sad.

  7. Love it Julie!!
    Great illustration and one I'll tuck away in my hat - oh wait does that make it a pat answer? Crap, now I gotta re-file it! Point is, I won't forget it!
    Love ya friend!

  8. Jewls, I loved your post and Stephanie, loved your comment as well!! I'm right there along with you. Fantastic food for thought here.

  9. Hi you,

    Coupla things - have you ever read The Case For Faith by Lee Strobel? It's sort of a buffet style pass over lots of big topics as the author interviews some major theologians of our time. Great for picking and choosing what you'd like to really pursue and then going and getting those theologians' books. Some VERY interesting stuff about hell in there - how its not actually AT ALL fire and brimstone, how it actually displays God's ultimate mercy, etc. Very interesting stuff about "those who have not heard". I was frequently surprised and refreshed by what I read in that book. On the feminine attributes of God, have you considered that Wisdom is feminine in the Bible? I'm sleepy so I can't remember if its Psalms or Proverbs. About "pursuing HER". (Wisdom - attribute of God that is used in feminine terms.) Awesome!!

  10. And Jesus' middle name is Truth and He always brings us upright to that.

  11. Are you reading "Searching for God knows What" by Donald Miller?

    Sure sounds like it,from this post. I just started it a few days ago.


Awaiting your words......
♥ Juls ♥