A wall of water sprayed up behind my son as he carved his sixth turn around a buoy on the waterski slalom course. Watching him from the boat, I raised both hands in victory and cheered for his accomplishment. It was his first time successfully completing the course he’d been trying to master for the past several summers. My husband and I were thrilled with his tenacity and equally excited that he was embracing a sport we both love.
Waterskiing has been woven into the fabric of our family since my husband and I first met working at a Christian houseboat camp back in 1988. For us, loving Jesus, ministering to students, living in community, and experiencing the adrenaline rush of waterskiing were all part of the same package. They were the ingredients that had combined to lay a solid foundation for our life together.
Once we were married, our goal was to buy a boat to foster memorable experiences and deeper relationships. Over the years, we’ve enjoyed spending warm summer days out on the water. Our boys have never known life without the roar of a boat engine or the thrill of hearing the words: “It’s your turn to ski.” We’ve loved including friends and family in the fun over the years.
What makes this pastime magical for us is the shared experience. It’s not something any of us would do by ourselves. It’s the power of “we” that has turned boating and waterskiing into such beloved activities for our family. Whether it’s just the four of us or a crowd of friends and cousins, it’s all about doing it together.
The power of “we” also applies to our lives as Christians. Beth Moore puts it this way: “’We is an amazing, empowering word. We are so much stronger than I am. We study so much harder than I would. We believe God for so much more than I could” (Children of the Day p.19, italics added for emphasis). Jesus said it another way: For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them (Matthew 18:20).
While time alone in God’s word is crucial, it is equally important to gather with others consistently to learn, discuss and grow together. Being connected to a Bible study group enables us to have the accountability and challenge we need to press on in our faith. It connects our hearts and our lives and allows us to spur one another on toward spiritual maturity.
Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well… encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. (1 Thessalonians 2:8 & 12)
The lake where we ski has a regular group of people who come to enjoy time out on the water. While our ages and skill levels vary, we all enjoy discussing techniques, gear, news and people involved in the world of waterskiing. Spending time around others who love the sport and want to improve fuels our desire for it.
Participating in Bible study does this same thing for our faith. That’s why I look forward to fall and the launching of different Bible study groups I enjoy. I can’t wait to discuss the things I’m learning or to hear about the ways God is working in the lives of others. Proverbs 27:17 captures this idea well: As iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another.
Many of the people reading this will be jumping into Focused Living at CPC in the near future for Beth Moore’s newest study on 1 & 2 Thessalonians called Children of the Day. If you’re still deciding if you want to commit, let me push you off the ledge and into the “yes” category. For those of you who live out of the area, I hope and pray you’re looking for a study where you can connect with others to deepen your faith.
If you’re a veteran to Bible studies, maybe it’s time to share the blessing with a person who hasn’t been involved in a while or who has never done it before. Is it time to pray and ask Him to show you someone who is ripe for an invitation? Perhaps you could gather with a few people and meet in someone’s home to study together if a church Bible study seems too intimidating.
The joy that comes from being in community and growing in faith with others is beyond compare. The only thing that would top it for me is is if we were doing it by a lake and planning to ski a few sets afterwards. I think Jesus had the right idea:
Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. (Mark 4:1)
In keeping with the “water theme” of this post, I’ve chosen to include Chris Tomlin’s song “Waterfall” to inspire you (there aren’t a lot of songs about waterskiing out there). I can’t wait to jump back into the waters of Bible study, splash in God’s goodness and experience the power of “we” with you.
Click on the link below to read the lyrics and listen to the song.