You hear your name, open your eyes, glimpse the beautiful scenery and receive a cup from Mary. You apologise for sleeping. She smiles, “Hardly surprising with so much to think about.  Drink your tea, and then we’ll go for a swim.” At your expression she assures you, “The water will be warmer now. Believe me, each time you swim you grow stronger. Similar to life, toes in the water aren’t enough.  Nor will a half-hearted response fully sustain us, but a desire to plunge into the depths of who God is, and who you are in Him, will change you forever.  This exercise will help you gain confidence to move from the shallows into the deep. The Lord is in everything everywhere, but we only fully understand when we open up our hearts to Him.”  Mary pats your shoulder, “I’ll be back shortly.”

You grimace feeling this visit is becoming a challenge.  A need arises to prove yourself to Mary, and to God, the Father.  Still in your swim wear you leap up, run to the beach, and when you are hot and out of breath you charge into the sea.

In your determination to show them what you are made of, you ignore the cold waters and plunge in. As your bodily hair stands on end your skin feels the icy stabs. You attempt to swim a crawl. Out of breath you revert to breast stroke.  At hearing Mary call your name and having proved you can do it, you stop, tread water and turn.  It’s then, seeing the tiny figure of Mary you realise how far you are from the shore.  With energy sapped, growing numbness of your arms and legs revelation comes – you won’t make it back.

Read:  “I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold.  I have come into the deep water, the floods engulf me.  I am worn out…my eyes fail, looking for my God.”  Psalm 69:2 – 3 (NIVUK)

Consider:  Impulsiveness can be good do you relish, or run from it?

Step 7