Leeches in the Shallows – And An Invitation to Swim

It’s been awhile since doing an update for “Our Little Eden,” which is usually focused on our summer homesteading life.  Not that there’s nothing new to report.  Like the sweet young couple that is living on the property now, and helping to improve it.  They even planted the whole garden!  Seeing that this year we have to direct our focus more on making money to pay bills, having help with the garden was a big answer to prayer.

Overall though, it’s been a relaxing summer so far.  And hot!  Every afternoon after doing some work, I jump in the pond to cool off.  I also find peace there, floating around in the silky water with my “duck’s eye view,” observing hundreds of periwinkle-colored dragonflies zipping about on an invisible superhighway just above the still, glassy surface.  I can hear the wind riffling through the aspen leaves, and the soft twang of an occasional banjo frog tuning up.  Then, the much more obnoxious croak of a bull frog, which is almost always followed by an entire chorus of these giants stationed around the pond, all competing for the biggest mouth.  I feel like I can tread water for hours, allowing myself to daydream the afternoon away without a care in the world.

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But I have to confess, our pond is not all delightful.  It has leeches. :-(  These ugly bloodsuckers, as I read, are especially drawn to an open wound, but if you wade too long in the shallow end, they still may just attach to your foot or leg!  I personally use a float to get out to the deep water as fast as I can, to avoid walking in the shallow part. Leeches aren’t a problem in the deeper water.

The Pond of the Spirit

Recently I remembered that Jay Ferris once used a pond as a metaphor for one’s spiritual life.  It’s one of my favorite posts by him, and you can read the whole thing here: https://lovinglikegod.com/2012/06/06/the-pond/

Besides the land, which is like our physical life in this world, there’s the water, which represents the Spirit – and is a strong draw for the spiritually awakened person.  Even if its depths seem dark and bottomless, we find ourselves desiring to swim in what we know is a deeper level of intimacy and union with God, and with those whom God puts into the pond with us.  It’s not for the weak of heart, however, to swim in this manner.  But the call goes out… who will trust and obey?

Finally, between the land and the water is the shoreline.  This supposed “safe place” can be seen as the edge of spirituality where many people stay stuck.  Half-hearted religious activities, shallow relationships, and “always learning but never overcoming”..… most of what is done in the name of “spiritual life” is anything but a full body immersion into committed relationship and sonship, as it was for Christ.

Jay described the edge of the pond as containing, “fallen venues, paradigms, and even idols.”

And I’ve been thinking lately, how it is especially these edges of church comfortability and religious mixture, that “spiritual leeches” lurk.  Also called “wolves in sheep’s clothing,” there are bloodsuckers that prey, (financially, and otherwise) on those who have an interest in spirituality, but who are fearful and unwilling to fully “lose themselves” to the deep waters of genuine, spiritual union with God, in the same way that Christ Himself was.

And if one is wounded in addition to this?  There’s an even better chance that they might get leeched. :-/

Wisdom is needed, to recognize the danger of wading through the safety and familiarity of spiritual shallows for too long.
“Come out from among them,” 2 Cor. 6:17a.

And courage and determination is needed, to obey the invitation to jump into the depths of closeness to God, beyond the shallow shoreline (religious, relationally, and otherwise) that holds us back.
“…and I will receive and welcome you,” 2 Cor. 6:17b