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Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Diving Board

I have never really had much fear of water… except when it came to jumping off the diving board!  I always remember one time when I was in elementary school when I was at the municipal pool located behind Santa Rosa High School.  I really don’t remember the circumstances but for some unusual reason I decided that I was going to jump off the high dive.  Once I got to the top of the ladder I knew that I had made a bad decision, but since there were people behind me, I had to go through with the leap.  The only thing I remember is that I never thought I would reach the water and when I did, I just knew that it was surely going to kill me!

Well folks… as you can tell by my writing today, I made it, although I have never climbed a high dive again.  For years I made a point to stay away from the low diving board as well.  Then as a sophomore in high school things changed!  There was a small private swim club near the high school I attended and as part of PE our class would walk over to the pool for swimming lessons.  The end of each class was always given to free time.  On one particular day some of the guys were playing a rough game that included pushing people’s head underwater.  So in order to stay clear of that activity, I decided that I would spend my free time in the diving section of the pool.
Once there I pulled up my trunks, gathered my courage and jumped off the low diving board… and you know… it wasn’t half bad!  Before you knew it I was jumping and diving off the board like a fish.  The old adage of “practice makes perfect” proved true for my diving skills that day and for the rest of the semester long class.  The more I did it, the easier it became and my repertoire of jumps and dives increased, both from the board and from the deck of the pool.  It actually turned into a fun activity!
Titus 3:4-5 tells us that “when God our Savior made his kindness and love for humanity appear, he saved us…” (God’s Word ©) Adam Clarke in his Commentary on the Bible states that “by the word Kindness (in the original language) we may understand the essential goodness of the Divine nature; that which is the spring where all kindness, mercy and beneficence proceed.”  In other words, kindness is the springboard or diving board (in my previous example) from which all the mercies, goodness and benefaction of God originate!
And like in my experience, the more you practice it, the better and more varied you become in extending kindness toward others.  It just becomes a part of who you are… no matter where you are… no matter what is going on or being said around or to you!  God’s nature becomes your nature and His mercy, goodness and benefaction will flow from you!
I think that is pretty cool, don’t you?  That’s how I want to be used and it is also how I want to be treated by others.  But again, even if I’m not treated like that, I still keep the door open to God’s grace by my response of kindness.  I’ve learned some tough lessons over the past few years and believe me, I definitely do not want others to experience what I did.  And I also want to be assured that my words and actions do nothing to perpetrate unkind and angry responses in others.
Have a wonderful day!  Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Whom am I expecting to bless with KINDNESS today?”

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