Matthew 10:39 NLT
If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.

Panic. Terror. The slow advance of dread across my soul--these were three of the sensations that gripped my second grade heart when Mom said, "It's time to go to swimming lessons." 

Mom picked her battles wisely, contending with her fearful son for his own benefit. The fruit of her labor speaks for itself; I'm not sure I'd know how to play the piano or drive or order my own food at a restaurant had it not been for her resolve. At six years old, I had already begun to understand this resolve, whether or not I appreciated it. I trudged toward the car, quaking in my trunks.

The problem with second grade swimming lessons as opposed to first grade ones was that second graders were expected to swim. First grade lessons had "taught" me how to blow bubbles and splash around the waist-high water of the shallow end. One short year later, I found myself sobbing uncontrollably in the arms of a hapless teenage instructor, legs flailing and stretching to make contact with the rough cement pool floor. The foot or so between that floor and my outstretched toes may as well have been a mile. Knuckles white, I clenched my "teacher's" shoulders even harder. Hers were the last words I heard before succumbing to the chlorinated flood, "I'm letting go of you in three...two...one…"

I did not learn to swim that day. 

In a way, I'm still learning to swim. I'm not talking about the breaststroke, sidestroke, or back crawl, which I eventually conquered (thanks to Mom). 

I'm learning that physical and spiritual buoyancy have something in common. Those who let go, stay still, and trust will find themselves floating, supported by the laws that govern the world God made. Those who panic and thrash against these laws, frantically reaching for something to cling to, will sink. 

We are in open water now. There is nothing to cling to out here. Jobs are unstable, governments are in turmoil, even our physical health is threatened. Families are separated. The future is shrouded in fog. But somehow, we can be okay. Not necessarily happy, but okay. Not exactly prosperous, but okay. We may not be covering much ground or advancing very far, but we could float if only we would let go, be still, trust. 

I think that's part of what Jesus meant by this challenging instruction. "If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it." Maybe the life you find on the other side of trust will be lighter. What if it's better to be held by our Father than to cling to our kids? What if there's more reward in stillness than in a savings account? What if it's okay to just be okay for today? 

What if losers find more? 

Brad Moss 
Student Ministries Pastor | New Covenant Church