I love to take a couple extra strokes under the water before taking a breath so that I can keep my gaze on the tiled line that stretches the entire 50 meters of the pool. I concentrate on keeping my body centered with the middle of the line, even numbers of little square blue tiles on each side. I feel in harmony with the lap line, my body stays in perfect parallel synchrony with it as the depth of the water between us increases. In the first few strokes I notice that where each of the navy blue checker squares meet there appears a navy blue circle. There are lots of circles, like an M.C. Escher illusion. As I reach the middle of the pool, however, the white lines dividing the squares become more clear, and the cognitive illusion begins to fade. By time I reach the deep end, the hazy circles have almost disappeared. I can see that the checkered pattern is made up of many distinct squares closely placed together. The depth of the water helps me to see clearly and reveals what they really are.
How often do we fool ourselves when we are close-up to the goal, the prize, in the midst of a trying problem or situation, by scrutinizing ourselves in our reflection in the mirror? Standing in the shallow end, we think we can see everything, but often our view is short-sided. When we reach the deep end, the side where it we can’t stand, it might be scary. We have to trust God in all circumstances, even when we can’t see anything but the deep end. Sometimes we have to take a step back or look at ourselves from an outsider’s view to get the right perspective. It is often while we are in the deep end and feel as though we are exhausted and can’t touch the bottom that we can look back at the situation or circumstances and see it more clearly, make sense of it and get a glimpse at understanding the real reason or meaning. The distance clears things up and clears the fog that sometimes clouds our vision when we are in the shallow end. Then the walls that were in our way protected us from a pit just beyond it and guide us around it. The road might curve back around onto the same path or continue on to something better for us in the long run. The things that were so important and demanding lose their glimmer. I like to think of God as looking at the entire swimming pool, when all we can see is a few of the hazy tile squares on the bottom of the pool. Even so He sees the big picture, he see the details better than we can.