Written By: Cathy Little
Imagine, if you will, that you are going to the beach. This is not just any beach. You are in fact going to a tropical island in the South Pacific. You are heading to a place of lush greens and fragrant flowers, of brilliant rainbows and colorful sunsets. You will be enjoying the local cuisine and tropical beverages and freshly squeezed juices from the fruit trees that grow nearby.
This is the most idyllic place you can imagine. The hospitality of the locals and resort accommodations are superb. The scenery is breathtaking. What
you are seeing and experiencing is new to you. It is peaceful. It is alluring. It’s beyond anything you’ve ever imagined. At this point, you might even be thinking that you are experiencing a tiny little tasted of heaven.
Ahhh. Feel the breezes. Smell the flowers. Enjoy the sunsets. Drink in the view.
So now that you’re here, it’s time to go to the beach! Grab a beach chair and umbrella and feel the sand between your toes as you claim your very own 3′ x 5′ piece of ocean front property.
Are you there?
In this moment, all that you can see, hear, taste and experience is absolutely phenomenal, but, it is not all that there is. If you stay here on the beach, you will miss it.
There is a whole world teaming with life that lies beneath the surface of the water you’re looking at from your spot in the sand. There are tropical fish that are brilliant in color and busy with activity. There are reefs that are sculpted and alive with a variety of coral. There are sea turtles gently going about their business, resting unde a rock, surfacing to breathe, feeding on the algae, and being fed upon by the fish eating the algae off their shells.
Beneath the surface, you’ll feel like you’re swimming in a fish tank…or that you’re playing an extra in the movie, Finding Nemo.
There is an entire ecosystem that is completely alive, fully functioning and very, very real, yet fully “other” from where we live.
If you never get in the water with a mask and a snorkel or a dive tank… you’ll miss it.
Yet, how many of us are content to stay on the beach…in our comfort zones…in the familiar?
Many of us, when it comes to worship, like to stay on the beach. We stay not only in our own comfort zones, but also in the comfort zones of those that we’re leading. We find our groove and stay there, satisfied with the way it’s always been done. We find what seems to work and stick with it. We, in essence, build a monument that holds us to the way it’s always been.
When the children of Israel were wandering in the desert, they. followed the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. This was how God led them. When He moved, they moved. When He stopped, they stopped. They encamped around His Presence. The Tabernacle, which represented the very Presence of Yahweh, was not made of wood and stone. It was portable. It was meant to move whenever and wherever the Presence moved, and that’s where the Israelites stayed… In His. Presence.
Let us never be satisfied to simply sit on the beach when it comes to worship. There is a whole other world waiting to be explored and experienced. Let us continue to pursue the deeper waters of His Presence. Ask questions. Search out His heart. Invite Him to reveal Himself to you more and more. He wants you to know Him even more than you want to know Him. He is more eager to meet with you than you are to meet with Him. Allow Him to rock your boat a bit. Allow Him to stretch you. Let Him move you beyond your comfort zone. Let Him teach you how to swim in the depths of Who He is like you’ve never known before.
You cannot lead people where you have not gone or are unwilling to go. If you want those you lead to dive deep, you have to dive first. There is so much waiting for you.
There is so much more.
Don’t miss it.