Though Finding Nemo hit theaters long after my childhood, I'm a sucker for cartoons, especially those with adventurous characters, compelling story lines, and goofy comedy. Though many phrases still stick with me from the film - Nemo touched the butt! may be the goofiest - the most profound comes from Dory's lips. Just keep swimming.
I see this on social media often. As friends find themselves overwhelmed with life's responsibilities, with work's demands, with family's needs, they type these few words. Just keep swimming seems to remind them that there's a direction and a purpose in the midst of their hectic lives.
As of today, I'm officially there. Just keep swimming, I tell myself. Here at CLC, we've got a bunch of projects underway and some new dreams that we're dreaming, all as a sign of God's work here among us. Just keep swimming. For Christians, though, this isn't just a pithy tagline for pushing through the requirements of life.
Scripture reveals the vitality of perseverance in the Christian life. At times, this refers to perseverance in faith, like we see in James 1. At other times, though, perseverance refers to more active, practical matters. For instance, 2 Thessalonians reminds us that we ought to grow weary of doing good. Just keep swimming toward the good, and living the good we want to see.
This is a virtue, something we receive from God as a gift and something we tend, like a gardener, that it might grow strong and bear fruit. If we just keep swimming, we also learn how to swim better. If we dive in to the actions of the Christian life and explore new ways to love God and serve others, then we learn even more about the kind of good life God intends for us.
Rather than burning yourself out, if you find the virtue in perseverance - if you just keep swimming - this can refuel the fire of life. So press on toward the goal and do good along the way. If we're lucky, like Dory, we'll find some friends and have an adventure as we swim along.
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Simultaneously a sinner and a saint.