Last night, I had a dream in which I was roughly four or five-years-old. I was hesitating on the pool sidelines with my floaties on. I’m laughing, but this is out of nervousness, and an attempt to delay the inevitable. There’s a man in the pool who’s encouraging me to jump in. I didn’t know who he was, but in the dream, despite not wanting to jump, I knew he would catch me.
In the summertime, this is a common scene—hesitant children (floaties or not) waiting on the side of the pool while their parents lovingly coax them to jump in. This jumping in seems to be a rite of passage. It signals a transition from fearful to fearless; from uncertainty to confidence. This test in trust produces growth, courage, and assurance, and is merely the jumping off point for something greater—full-fledged swimming.
In light of all the transition happening in my life, I don’t think this dream was coincidental.
I recently told a friend about my decision to leave my job, to which he responded, “I’m glad you finally took the plunge.” In reflecting on his comment, plunge is in fact the perfect word.
Any time we make major life decisions, it often feels like a headfirst dive into nothingness. While it takes faith to make these decisions, I also think this is just faith in general—a giant plunge into life’s swimming pool (without floaties). Yet, despite the fears and doubts that entangle us, much can be learned about God’s character in the midst of our jump.
In my dream, I believe the man in the pool represents God. Like the man, God waits patiently as we dilly dally on life’s sidelines. He doesn’t angrily cajole us to jump, nor mockingly splash us as we tarry. He’s not put off by our timidity. Rather, he waits out our hesitancy, and lovingly encourages us. He’s confident in his ability to catch us, and confident in our ability to jump.
Likewise, when we finally take the plunge, God does not abandon us. To date, I’ve never seen a parent maliciously move out of the way or intentionally not catch their child. I believe it’s the same with God. When he calls us from the safety of the concrete into the watery unknown, he doesn’t teach us a lesson by letting us belly flop. God is not a sadistic tease. He’s not going to move aside when we take a genuine plunge of faith or an intentional step of obedience. Instead, He proves his character by catching us.
As I take my faith plunge, I must remember that God is going to catch me. His arms are open wide. He’s waiting. I just need to make sure I’m jumping towards Him.