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.