“You better learn to swim upstream, going against the current, against the flow. Only dead things float downstream.” -- Steve Ray
I think its fair to say that toothbrushes are an object designed for a good purpose. Everybody has one and everybody uses it a couple times a day. I think everyone would agree with the statement that “toothbrushes are good.” Or are they? I remember one evening many, many years ago I would have totally disagreed with that statement! There was an unfortunate incident involving two sleepy, crabby siblings, one tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush wielded like a sword. To make a long story short, my blindness was slightly dramatic and only temporary but that evening, I was a preschooler who knew for a fact, toothbrushes are bad and dangerous! Even the most harmless and “good” things can be used for bad I suppose, so it’s important to step back and look at things through the lens of reason and intent.
Social media is a big part of our world. Like the toothbrush, many folks feel like it’s good and others view it like that sleepy little girl who got poked in the eye with a toothbrush and have nothing good to say about it. Again, we have to look through the lens of reason and intent. Without a doubt, there is garbage, danger and evil lurking in our digital world but there is also a great deal of good, rich, amazing stuff too. The quote from Steve Ray at the beginning of this post is the perfect example. My friend Noelle Garcia was at a Catholic Family Conference in Wichita Kansas this weekend and she posted many little nuggets like this one throughout the conference. I couldn’t be there to learn and listen but I’m so glad she posted what was being shared with her. I’m so glad my focus leads me to the good and inspiring places that can encourage me to swim upstream and help me find the desire and strength to swim against the current.
When I gave this quote some prayerful thought, I realized there are so many times I get tired of swimming upstream and I just want to grab on to something and float. Being an intentional disciple is tough sometimes. Choosing to begin the day in prayer and scripture reading instead of sleeping longer isn’t always easy. Walking away from conversations that aren’t positive or fruitful isn’t always easy. Making the decision to see and be Christ to others isn’t always easy or convenient. Offering cheerfulness and christian charity towards the worlds rude and cranky, takes thought, occasional tongue biting and discipline. Standing up for the unborn, the underserved and the mis-judged is tough but when any of these things are done with Christ like love, you better believe it’s an upstream effort.
The next time you’re having one of those days when you just want to take a “pass” on the “current fighting” and just grab onto a piece of drift wood and float along, stop and think about what you’re grabbing. Drift wood is dead, that’s why it’s floating downstream. While it may be easier, it isn’t going to get us anywhere good. God didn’t put us on this earth to be dumped into a collection pool where dead stuff gathers and becomes stagnant and lifeless. He promises new life, refreshing life and an existence with him filled with joy, peace and life abundant. The next time you feel weary from swimming upstream, join up with others swimming in the same direction and give each other strength and support instead of grabbing something dead that will pull you downstream.
A Seed To Plant: Make a list of the things you’re hanging on to that are dragging you downstream. Reach out to one person who is swimming upstream and chat with them, pray with them and commit to one thing you can do together to help each other go against the current.
Blessings on your day!