I remember learning to swim as a small child. There was a small body of water next to my grandpa’s farm that in Texas we call a tank. My grandfather took me to the middle of it in a boat and simply threw me out in the water and told me to swim. Harsh as it may seem, when you are terrified you can learn to swim very quickly. My grandfather paid close attention nearby, if and when I faltered, to rescue me if need be. But in a few minutes I was swimming across the pond with ease.

When I was growing up, life used to be like throwing you out of the boat to see if you could swim. But in this modern world with its stringent competition to succeed, the proper phrase for today’s society is better suited as – Life is like throwing you off a cliff to see if you can fly. In 2014, life is moving extremely fast.

In this day and age we do not need to learn to swim to survive – we need to learn to fly. As we live, we will gain wisdom. The passions of our youth will give way to the convictions of our age. As we live we will fail. We will learn lessons of life in the body of those failures that will mold and shape us for the future that awaits us as we walk in God’s will.  All the experiences that we have will enable us to meet our destiny with character in hand. Youth has difficulty with the complete ability to develop character. It is the passion, pursuit, success and failure as we mature in life that will develop the character in us that we need, enabling God to work in our lives, allowing us to succeed as we submit to His will. The character that God develops in us will give us the wings to fly.

We are to bathe ourselves in the passion, power and beauty of our youth. This will enable us to enjoy the endless possibilities of our future as we mature and grow in Christ. As temporal beauty fades, eternal beauty sharpens, enhanced by the glory of God in our lives and endless possibilities will lay before us in God’s plan for our lives.

The grace of God will teach us not to stress over the future. The problems that we are aware of, we can give over to God and let Him carry our burdens. The things that are the most damaging to us are the things that blind side us when we are least expecting them. It is at those times that the grace of God is sufficient to rescue us, even in our darkest hour.  

Jesus told us to be as wise as a serpent and as harmless as a dove. What He was telling us that we need to understand that ways of the world but not become like them which would make us hard and callous.  To be as “harmless as a dove” expresses God’s wish for us to be beyond reproach in our faith as we relate to others. As a serpent we must be clever and shrewd in dealing with the world, but we must never engage ourselves in the ethics of secular society.

So as we learn to fly in the turbulent times we must shrewdly walk through the world allowing God to teach us in every circumstance that we find ourselves in, so that we might develop the character we will need to sustain us as we grow in God’s mercy and grace.

2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

Deuteronomy 32:10-11 – In your desert full of heartache and brokenness, God will find you, amidst your barren and howling waste. He will shield you and care for you; He will guard you as the apple of His eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and flies over its young, that spreads its wings to catch you when you fall and carry you aloft.

 Isaiah 40:31 – Those who trust in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.