Ya know? You could if you be still. This month we are doing a THRIVE challenge called “Be Still.” The premise is to Be still for 15 minutes a day. No music, no devices – just you and a journal. Then see what happens – see what you know or better yet, what you don’t know.
During one of my 15 minutes, I was given a ‘pool reflection.’ Let me give you a brief background first. We have owed an above ground pool for 4 years. At first I did not want it, not because I would not enjoy it but rather I knew the work it would take to keep it clear and clean. Nonetheless, we got one. The first year I could not keep it clear no matter what I did. Come to find out, I was not adding enough or the right proportions of chemicals to it. Who knew chlorine was so important?!? Each year has gotten progressively better. Here is the truth about having the pool: it is a blessing to us & others on hot summer days – it is lots of work to keep it clear and clean – I have come to enjoy cleaning it.
Ok, back to my 15 minutes. As I sat down to be still that day, I felt in my spirit these words, “your pool and how you take care of it reflects your life.’ With that I wrote the below italicized words in my journal. I will not add to it but rather just share what ‘being still’ allowed me to know that day.
Cleaning Pool Analogy.
1. Shell of pool: environment of our daily life
2. Water: us (you and I)
3. Chemicals: what we put in our water
a. chlorine: spending time with God; prayer/devotionals/reading
b. stabilizer: foundational identity – knowing who He is and who I am but also knowing where I am.
c. pH balancer: healthy also in the mind and body; challenging ourselves
d. natural clarifier: serving others – not about me
e. algae killer: honestly in our lives; accountability; close friend group
If we keep our water clean; it is refreshing. If it is cloudy and green, no one wants to swim. Is it any different with us? Even if all the right chemicals are added debris can still get in the water. Gotta take the time to vacuum and clean out. Lots easier to do daily.
- Our environments and our stories are all different but we matter to God. He is the living water that is clear – that is constant – that is refreshing.
- Just like adding chlorine to the pool to help keep it clear – our time spent with God will directly correlate to the clarity of & in our life.
- The stabilizer helps to reduce the amount of chlorine that is pulled out of the water from the stress of sunlight and pool use. Knowing the answers to the identity questions will help stabilize us when stress comes in our life. You can learn more about those questions here.
- The pH balancer helps the pool not get too acidic (unhealthy if you will). For us to be balanced is to be healthy in mind, body and spirit. We are the very temple of God and how dare us allow our temples to get acidic. With that in mind, we must, at times, challenge ourselves to achieve better health not just for a moment but for a lifestyle. I think of a quote, “Health is not a gift but something each person is responsible for through his or her own daily effort.” (R. Nakayama)
- I have come to know about myself this truth: when I am focused on myself – my worries, my woes, my what-evers – my mind becomes clouded with doubts. However, as I turn my attention to serving and encouraging others; my emotions are stabilized and I can allow grace and joy to abound.
- Algae starts slow; grows on the edges then before you know it, the whole pool is green. Untruth in our lives does the same thing. Lies start small, on the edges (white-lies) and then before you know it; our whole life is affected. It is only with honesty and accountability that we can kill the fungus of lies.
It may not be easy at times – it might require daily effort – but as I have said before; we are not called to the easy, we are called to the necessary. And make no mistake, it is absolutely necessary to keep our water clear if we are to be healthy for ourselves/family and a blessing to others. There is no other way. And yes, even in the midst of the daily effort, joy can be found – grace and love can abound…your water can be clear!