The Deep End

Forty-five years ago a lifeguard jumped into the deep end of a YMCA pool in New York and rescued me from drowning ... I was learning to swim and couldn’t make it across the deep end of the pool. Fear embraced me that day and being in deep water has been scary ever since that traumatic experience. I’ve taken water classes over the years and never have been able to get past my fear of the deep end ... then last Friday came ... Good Friday ... it was a Very Good Friday!!

Three times a week my wife Ann and I take a midday water aerobics class at our local YMCA ... I was in that class on Friday ... I was in the deep end ... I was wearing a buoyancy belt to keep me afloat as I exercised. Then at about 11:40am, with 10 minutes left in class, something happened. The voice of my inner man rose up within me and spoke to me ... this is what he said: “Take off the belt!” The voice was so clear ... I hesitated momentarily ... then courage took hold of me ... I took off the buoyancy belt in the middle of the deep end and swam to the side of the pool ... I was free at last of the fear that had bound me for so long. With utter incredulity I told Ann of this amazing experience – in awe she rejoiced with me.

Life is all about the deep end ... that fleshly place where our minds are held hostage to fear, anxiety, anger and sadness ... it is a dark and depressing place. In the eighth chapter of Romans the Apostle Paul writes:
If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh-- for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, " Abba! Father!"
In these verses we again see the tension between the outer and the inner man ... the fleshly outer man is described as a place of death ... the inner man a place of life. When the inner man rises up the deeds of the outer man are put to death ... it is that issue of control that I wrote about last month. Isn’t it interesting that this victory of life over death ... spirit over flesh ... and inner man over outer is related to Jesus’ resurrection. Could it be that each day can be Easter ... a day of resurrection for each of us ... a day when another fear bites the dust ... a day when rage gives way to peace ... a day when the new inner man comes out of the tomb and is revealed in all of his/her beauty .... that really sounds like resurrection to me ... from a deep end of the pool perspective.


  1. It seems like everything you write here is aimed right at me.

    I realize the old man in me has died but I want to hang around the grave. If only to gaurd it and make sure he don't come back to life.

    I sit upon it saying. This guy is dead! but by sitting there I'm bound.

    I find I do that alot.

  2. "Life is all about the deep end ... that fleshly place where our minds are held hostage to fear, anxiety, anger and sadness..."

    Great line. I've not discovered a way around it. We have to go through it. Good thing we get some help!

    Good thing you had your lifeguard back in New York!

  3. So good.

    After being a stay at home mom for six years I entered the work force. Fear had a huge grip on me. I was self employed for several years before. My how times have changed. I’ve prayed and my fears have gone.

    I’m not a swimmer so I rejoice in seeing my children swim like little fishes and frogs.


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