The exciting times continue in the Jones house. Last night we took our four year old daughter to her first (without parents in the pool) swimming lesson.
We got off to a pretty rough start. In the weeks leading up to her first lesson she was enthusiastic, excited, and looking forward to the whole thing.
Then, almost as if a switch was thrown, the day of the lesson came and anxiety, nerves and fear took over. Andrea was afraid because her safety net, aka: mom and dad, would not be accompanying her in the pool.
It was nearly five minutes into her lesson time before she began to splash around in the warm water of the Tahoma pool. Once she did, she couldn’t care less that we were even there. She was engaged, laughing, interacting and loving her first swimming lesson. She got lost in the moment, all the fear that surrounded her leading up to this new aquatic endeavor had melted away.
What was the key? Aside from amazing parenting skills (wink).
The key was simply getting Andrea’s feet wet. Once she encountered the fun and exhilarating water she was ready to go. In fact, she didn’t want to leave and her first question on the ride home was when could she come back and swim again.
In many ways Andrea’s first swim lesson parallels the Christian experience of sharing our faith with others. In our minds, like Andrea, we make it way bigger and scarier than it needs to be. We imagine scenarios where we’ll be pressed for answers to tricky, unanswerable questions. We have visions of being laughed at and criticized for looney beliefs we hold.
In reality however, I find that those experiences to be rare, if not non-existent. Sharing your faith does not need to include a three point message with altar call. It doesn’t even need to include your personal testimony or your favorite scripture.
Sharing your faith is as simple as sharing a well timed compliment or smile. You could buy someone’s coffee, stop to help, or just take notice of someone around you and listen to their story.
Jesus encourages us to share Grace and our faith with other in simple ways and to start small. Look at what he says here in Matthew 10:42:
“This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice.”
What it all boils down to is simply getting your feet wet. Go ahead and try it. Be quick to share a smile, compliment, or even your jumper cables if necessary. Extending Grace to others is what we’re called to do. It can be scary and daunting if you listen to yourself, but Jesus is encouraging you to start small and change your world today.
Be careful once you start; extending Grace to others can be addictive.