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Mukilteo Beacon
Mukilteo , Washington
June 21, 2006     Mukilteo Beacon
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June 21, 2006

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16 - Mukilteo Beacon - June 2006 tt, : REv. DAVID W. PARKS Ch ch (Ey. r F? "simply could not do it. No matter how much I .tried, how much I "willed" myself, no matter how tightly I pinched my nose - I could not put my face in the water! It was the summer of 1964 and I had been through swimming lessons, countless trips to the lake with the neighbors, boat rides, and even practice runs in the bathtub. I was 9 years old and could ride a bike, catch a fastbaU, climb a tree and remem- ber lines in my Sunday School Christmas Pageant but I was deathly afraid to jump into water that was over my head. It was embarrassing. It was paralyzing. I just couldn'td0 it. Family and friends were reas- suring. They encouraged and coaxed me. My mona even tried to bribe me with the promise of ice cream. All I had to do was jump in. All I had to do was go all the way under and make my way back to the edge of the pool. Easy. Safe. Simple. Why was it so hard? I daydreamed about being free to swim, to make my way into the deep and see what mysterious things lay near the bottom. I fanaticized about be- ing a scuba diver in the ocean exploring old ship- wrecks. I could imagine fearlessly jumping off the high diving board at the "Y" so that everyone would see me and applaud. Yet each time the opportunity came, I went stiff. My laughter stopped, my brain stopped. Beautiful, carefree, sunny days at the beach turned into sul- len, lonely, boring hours spent watching other kids have fun. In July that year, my family joined others for a camping trip. We went to the state park on the lake and pitched our tent right on the beach. Dad had a 16-foot wooden boat with a mahogany deck and an old 35-horsepower Evenrude. It had a pull start and a five-gallon gas tank. He kept a box of shear pins under the seat. I love being with my dad. He was an excellent teacher and superb water skier. He had a knack for setting people at ease and showing them how to change a tire, throw a football or paint the garage. We were about 100 yards off shore when the old Evenrude quit. We were stranded one of us would have to jump in, swim to the beach, retrieve a screwdriver and get back to the boat. One of us was about to get wet! My dad looked at me with an expression that ! didn't see very often and said, "You're it." With that, he picked me up and tossed me over the side. I hit the water with my eyes wide in surprise. At first, I was so stunned, so angry, so frightened I couldn't even plug my nose. I felt the water "swal- low" my whole body. I heard the sounds of bubbles rising past my submerged ears. For the first time in my life, I was under! My shock and malice lasted for about one-tenth of one second. I realized that being under water was no big deal. In fact, it was fun! (Later that day, I think I jumped in on my own 1,000 times just to feel the joy and reckless abandon of it.) I also realized that I wasn't mad at my dad. In- deed, I was grateful. He knew what I needed. He had moved me beyond my hesitation and fear. He SEATED HAIR ASSAGE Louis Menzago, LMP 206-364-4983 MA00010519 Great for: ' Parties At Work At Home Thank Yous Worker Appreciation Over 8 years of professional experience Do need help c0nnec in your business wi h right Telecom Solution? Integrated local service & IntemetT-ls Telecom confusion removal Free-phone bill analysis & vendor recommendations Toll free number - Ad tracking Do-Not-Call compliance solutions Business class - High speed Intemet - DSI T-ls, DS-3 Call or email today for a Free phone bill sm,ings analysis T.Comm Solutions Email: InfoOT-CommSolu6ons.com . bone: 425-267-0529 Websi~: www. T-CemmSolutions.com It's time for Not all Use Cedar d blends Way * Bags laughed, I laughed harder. Looking back over the course of my life, I think there have been other occasions when I've been "stuck." I can think of moments when I needed something larger than myself to toss me into situ- ations where I otherwise would not have dared to go. I wonder if my relationship with God has been something like that. Oftentimes I'd come to anoth- er new place of growth or challenge, and it would require the assertive and yet gentle arms of anoth- er to hurl me into experiences I wouldn't otherwise have had. It was like that for tithing for instance. We were "plunged" into it. Circumstances were such that there was no chance for gradual growth, no room for incremental improvement and no extended pe- riod of time for systematically slow change. Bang! We were very suddenly sharing 10 percent of our income, and we discovered that we liked it. It was also like that when I got over my fear and inhibitions related to telling others about my faith. There was a situation wherein I was compelled to speak to another about my personal experience and love for Jesus. No time for pious hints, no room for obscure religious references, or measured, care- fully nuanced, third-person descriptions of divine experience. I was simply "pitched" into the conversation. I had no choice but to speak. When it came out, it was awkward and unpersuasive. Still, I had grown up a little more that day and I was free in a way I hadn't been before. Sorting out God's will in my vocation, trusting others with my possessions, becoming a dad my- self, speaking out against injustice, offering forgive- ness, investing in care for the hungry, committing time to a service project, saying "yes" to serving on PARKS. .29