Many don’t know this about me, but I do not like to swim. It’s not really that I can’t or that I don’t believe in its power to help you transform your body, but I just despise placing my face in water. So when my husband suggests to my sons that we go to the YMCA for a swim and some basketball, you can imagine how elated I am about it. But my sons adore the water, and love to splash and play with their dad, so I go.
After our last trip to the pool I went back into the locker room to change. I stood in the shower for a long time, warming myself from the chilly water in the streams of hot water and soaking up the humid moist air. I relished the feeling that had returned to my fingers again, the fact that I didn’t think I could see my breath anymore, that my bones started to defrost. While I knew that I needed to get out of there, that I had to get dressed and meet up with the family outside, I stood in the glorious waterfall of hot soothing mist and vapor.
As I couldn’t see standing in the shower any longer, I turned it off and proceeded to the sink area in my towel and wet hair. I stood in front of the mirror and was in horror of what I saw. I saw my face was pale and my neck, chest and shoulders that peeked out of the towel were bright red; I was in the shower too long.
Now, while I was in there I was merely finding the feeling back into my hands, I was warming the blood that felt as if it barely moved through my veins back in to fluid motion…and my skin had suffered.
As I dressed quickly in the next room I thought about what I had seen. Too much of a good thing… sing songed in my head throughout my quick dressing and combing of my hair. Can we ever have too much of a good thing? It got me thinking, we get warning signs, don’t we? My skin didn’t magically turn red as I left the shower. Do we look past any of the signs along our journey, and soak up the “good stuff” until it’s too late? What about if what we see as good is really bad for us?
I know that some of these questions are some of the hardest we have to face in our walk towards living like Christ. How do we know is really what God wants us to do to feel good, to be happy? Other than some quality snuggle time with my boys, reading books in the wee hours of the morning, sipping a cup of coffee while the snow falls outside is one of the happiest places I can put myself. My husband buries himself in car parts and sound equipment, when he’s not wrestling with our boys and causing the best giggles in the world. These are things that I can certainly identify as a blessing and a definite source of happiness.
I’m not saying that God has to drop happiness into our laps, or that happiness cannot be found on our own. All I’m saying is that pursuing a relationship with God can never result in burned skin and a pale face. He is nourishment, he is happiness, he is the reason for this season of hope and giving. And that, that is something of which we can never have too much.
I have a happy faith.