If you don’t know the reference of the title for this week, it comes from the movies Finding Nemo and Finding Dory. It is said by one of the main characters, Dory. She is a fish who has short-term memory loss but knows that “Just keep swimming” is key to survival. Of course, fish must keep swimming to stay alive.
I recently finished the first draft of my doctoral dissertation. The last few weeks, I worked on it intensely. I knew that I would get it done, and I did, but I am tired now! Part of me wants to sit back for a month to rest and play. But a bigger part of me knows that I need to “keep on swimming.” I will rest a bit, but I will also rise up and run after the goals that Christ has put in front of me. I was made to make a difference with Jesus.
Have you ever dreamed about winning the lottery? Or quitting work because some rich relative gifted you enormous money? I know I have! But I have come to believe that working is good for my soul. While it would be nice not to worry about money, it is good that I can’t get everything I want. Those who live in luxury often struggle with apathy and lack of purpose. Yet many people yearn for more money, more stuff, and more comfort. This is a twisted version of the American Dream. The real American Dream is about having the opportunity to live a better life. What is the good life?
As a Christian, I find my answer to life’s questions from Christ. He lived the good (perfect) life. He gave up comfort to save our souls. He experienced loss and pain, joys and friendship. He loved deeply but was not liked by everyone. He called fisherman, tax collectors, and outcasts to follow Him. They were given the opportunity to change the world with Jesus. They left their routine and comfort and walked with Christ into a world of challenge, discomfort, and opposition. Because they had the love and power of Jesus, the overcame them all; they were witnesses to the ends of the earth. These unknowns are the heroes of history.
I want to live the good life with Jesus. Our church had 50 first time visitors over the summer. Ten people came to our Welcome Party on Sunday and are taking their next step of faith. We are turning 10 years old as a church, and God is just getting started with us. In the next year, we will begin construction, meet in a new location, and hopefully begin the church planting process. God is changing people’s lives, and I love being part of it. I don’t want a life of comfort; I was made to make a difference. Living the mission of Jesus is how we can survive and thrive. Just keep swimming.