For two weeks, my husband, Mark and I have been crawling out of bed at 5 a.m. so that we can study our Bibles together before hitting the 6:30 “Early Bird Swim” at the Community Complex. We are enjoying meeting new friends and loving how fantastic we feel after swimming our laps and unwinding in the whirlpool. With a whopping six swim sessions under our belts, we’re feeling on top of the world and wondering what took us so long to…take the plunge.

You see, we’ve been promising to do this for the better part of three years. But you know how life is…busy and exhausting with distractions, unexpected detours and delays. And then there are the excuses and fears. I’ll have to admit that part of my procrastination may have had something to do with the fact that my swimsuit seems to have shrunk a wee bit…okay, a big bit. I’m a little self-conscious making that long walk from the change-room to the pool and even more embarrassed about my “lack of form” when it comes to properly executing the front crawl. However, once I slip into that water, all those anxieties melt away and I feel one with the water…free, light and strong.

Perhaps because I’m a pastor, people feel obliged to tell me that they’re going to start attending church and yet the majority of them don’t. I get it. Life can be crazy busy. Then there are those who say they can’t come to church until they “get their lives together”…until they stop doing this, that or the other. Well, that would be like me saying I wasn’t going to the pool until I had perfected my backstroke or that I was taking Mark’s shirts to the drycleaners…just as soon as I washed and ironed them. 

When a bunch of religious leaders gave Jesus a hard time for hanging out with “sinners and tax-collectors” he responded, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor–sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Looking over the crowds of people who were plain worn out from jumping through “religious hoops”, Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” 

If you’re longing to find your way home to God, please know…Jesus invites you to come…just as you are.