Depths of Grace

Kindred in Christ,

Letting go can be hard. And yet, for an authentic Christian spirituality, it is essential.

I was once at a church retreat. As I was relaxing and reading a book on a beach chair on the dock of a lake, I was overhearing a conversation between my friend Brian and his then 11-year-old son, Henry. “I want to learn to dive!”, Henry stated with excitement. Apparently, he was a good swimmer and diving was the next step.

My non-anxious parent-friend said, “Sure, son. It’s not too difficult. Just stand at the edge of the dock. Put your hands together while pointing them to the water. Then lean over and just let yourself fall headfirst into the lake. That’s how you dive.”

Henry looked a little puzzled, “Really, that’s how you dive?” So, he puts his little body into position. He waited for the courage to come. And right as he began to let himself go and dive into the lake, he simultaneously tried to pull himself back up at the last second, which resulted in him belly flopping instead of diving. He came up spluttering and gasping, “Dad, it didn’t work!”.

Brian responded, “That’s right son; it’s because you didn’t let yourself fall in. Good try though! Try again. I know it is scary, but this time just let yourself fall in.” Henry tried again and again for half an hour! It just did not happen. Each time he would end up on his face or belly, because he would hold back and not just let himself fall in. Eventually, he gave up and walked back to the cabin.

I was watching all of this with great interest from the corner of my eye while pretending to still read my book, because I personally know how hard it can be to just let go in life and trust God. I think Henry’s story speaks for a lot of us who want to go deeper, beneath the surface of our spirituality or relationships, but find it hard to let go of the superficial things that provide us temporary comfort.

Over the next three weeks we will explore together three aspects essential to the Christian spiritual life, both for us as individuals and as a church:

I look forward to exploring these themes and learning to go deeper together!

Alongside you,

Rev. Paul Ortiz