Saturday, February 26, 2011
Taking The Plunge
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. 2 Corinthians 5:1-5
We witnessed an incredible event today. Our oldest daughter Emily participated in the Polar Bear Plunge today and we went along to cheer her on. I knew it was a physical challenge but I guess I never realized how challenging this event is for so many. They are raising money for Special Olympics, jumping into a frigid reservoir, the layer of ice more than a foot thick which was cut into in order for them to plunge. Most of us can't imagine jumping into icy waters. These people - more than 700 hundred in all age groups - jump into the icy water for people they barely know, screaming and groaning as they get out, with smiles on their faces. They put their lives at risk so that others might thrive.
The letter to the Corinthians described our human bondage as we are caught between body and spirit, always wrestling with how to live within our bodies but not to be owned by them. Those of us who would live for God would find ways to be released from the challenges of our bodies. The people today were heroic in my eyes for they were willing to put it all at stake, bare their flesh in the cruelest of conditions and jump in head first for the sake of others. A spiritual ritual, a gift for so many.
Today, I want to give thanks for the nameless throng who help us to be spiritual beings while we are bound by things earthly. Our limitations are no match for the spirit of joy and love that God has embedded in each of us. Today I saw the best of that spirit and was grateful to witness that unusual outpouring of spirit. May we all be drawn to be sacrificial and self-offering in these hard times. May we be witnesses to the spirit of God living in each of us today.