I’d seen aqua cycles in movies and had always been curious about them, so when my best friend purchased a Groupon for them for our girls’ trip, I was too excited to realize we were signing up for more work than relaxation.
We boarded on our giant cycles and began pedaling through the Carlsbad Lagoon and quickly got winded. I tapped the exercise function on my smartwatch just to see how we were doing. 1.7 mph, and we were only 5 minutes in.
Laughing at how much work this was, we paced ourselves to take a break every 10 minutes till we made it to the other side. It took 30 minutes.
We were bracing ourselves for an even longer journey back knowing we’d be going against the current. But 10 minutes in, and we were already more than halfway across.
“This isn’t making any sense, “my best friend said. “We’re going against the current. The other way should’ve been easier.”
If my watch was right, we were going .2 mph slower, but we were making better time. We made it back to shore within 20 minutes, 10 minutes less than when we went with the current. As my best friend continued scratching her head, I couldn’t help but see the Lord’s hand in all of this - a real visual for His invitation to live in a manner “not of this world,” to live against the culture, against the current.
But isn’t that harder?To not purchase this or go there or do that? FOMO (fear of missing out) has become more real with the help of social media, and it usually is 100% easier to give in to.
It’s easier to give in than to fight back. Easier to give in or stay quiet rather than to explain ourselves or defend our values. Easier to give in because it’s what we’ve always known, and “it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.”
Yet Jesus reminds us in 1 John 2:15-17: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”
If we believe the Word, then we’d believe that the things we find easier to give in to are not of God and are passing away. Right?
As we pedaled against the current, I noticed a refreshing breeze kept us cool during the ride that we were not feeling in the previous direction. It dried our sweat and re-energized us. (“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” Jeremiah 31:25)
We also had the pleasure of watching silver-bellied fish dance out of the water, giving us a glimpse of the Lord’s beautiful creation. (“How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” Psalm 104:24)
Halfway back to shore, a couple of folks on their paddle boards came behind us and asked to “borrow our wind and shade.” (“Freely you have received, freely you shall give.” Matthew 10:8)
Slow and steady isn’t the world’s pace, and neither are many of the ways Christians are called to live. But as I just experienced on that ride through the Lagoon, the Lord truly does sustain all who keep their eyes on Him (Romans 2:10). And what might feel impossible for man (going against the current), is possible for God.
What if we applied the FOMO mentality to all that God has in store for us when we choose to follow Him? Here’s just some of what we’d miss:
- A plan for our life (Jeremiah 29:11)
- Power for our life (2 Timothy 1:7)
- Joy (Psalm 16:11)
- Overflowing hope (Romans 15:13)
- Strength and help (Isaiah 41:10)
- Wisdom (James 1:5)
- Treasures in Heaven that neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal (Matthew 6:21)
- A mansion in Heaven (John 14:2)
Going against the current is unpopular but absolutely worth it. As Pastor Terry said in a recent sermon, “The big breakthroughs are usually connected to a series of little obediences. And our eternal destiny is connected to all of those little obediences.”
Life will present us with plenty of invitations to follow the current. Go against it anyway. And when it gets tough, remember the wise words of a Pacific Blue Tang Fish named Dory, “Just keep swimming!”