Well, it is that time of the year again, when the cooler nights roll in, the leaves start changing, and it gets dark earlier. With the cooler fall weather, it also means one thing I DREAD – the lake is getting colder! For those of us who love being on the water, we hold out hope that it will stay just warm enough for us to survive another run or two.
I’ve actually learned a trick to jumping into cold water – you’ve got to start screaming before you hit the cold abyss below. That way, you don’t lose your breath, and you can keep screaming after you’re surrounded by the oh-so-refreshing lake. It doesn’t really make it any warmer, but it sure is fun.
One other thing I have learned about being able to wakeboard longer into the fall/winter is to consistently be in the water as it gets colder. Years ago Richard Stephens and I used to try to ride at least once in every month of the calendar, and I discovered that I could acclimate to the cold water if I didn’t go more than a week without getting in. As it got gradually cooler, my body would be used to the lower temperatures, and it was easy to get in and enjoy it. I wouldn’t realize how cold the water was for a normal person until we’d have someone join us who hadn’t been in the water for months. They were always quick to inform us that we were out of our minds for playing in water that cold in TX.
It has dawned on me that too often, I can tend to acclimate to the world around me in the same way.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Conforming to the world is rarely ever an overnight thing. My flesh tempts me to be like the world in ways such as being motivated by acquiring material things or maybe even by the approval of man. These motivations from my heart can at first seem harmless, but over time I realize that just like getting used to the cold water, I am used to being motivated and governed by the same things that govern and motivate the world.
1 John 2:16 says, “For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life – is not from the Father but is from the world.”
Jesus left us in the world to show the world that we love the Father (John 17:11-21). We are to do this by being transformed from being like the world, to being like Jesus.
The more like Jesus we are, the more the ways of the world will stick out to us and will be contrary to our way of life. We will be the ‘normal’ people who aren’t used to the cold water in the first place.
Nowadays, as a more mature person, I can enjoy the colder water IF I use a wetsuit. And, just as a wetsuit will protect us from the cold water and allow us to do what we need (want) to do, we can get ‘in’ the world with a Jesus-suit (aka the Armor of God – Eph 6:10-17).
So, tomorrow when you get ready for your daily adventures make sure to “put on the full armor of God” so that you don’t get too acclimated to the ways of the world, but can be used by the Lord to show them His perfect will – Jesus Christ.