Softening the Surface
Have you ever watched water striders, the spindly-legged creek-surface-dwelling bugs, scoot along the surface of still water? (Did you know that not everyone refers to these wonders as water striders? Some call them Jesus bugs. Ha! They walk on water… Jesus bugs!!)
Anyway, amazing isn’t it that a creature can be so nimble and light they can walk on water? And how? Isn’t it astounding that a water molecule can be created with such precision that its chemical bonding supplies a tension sufficient to hold this creature up?
What a cool feat! To travel oblivious. To not worry about falling, drowning, being submerged or over your head in life’s travails. Amazing … and yet think of all that bug is missing underneath what he travels across.
That little guy has me wondering if I’m not part water spider. Because if I’m honest, I am often pretty darn willing to skirt the issues and keep things at surface level, too. It’s easier that way, and I can operate on my reflexes and survive on my instincts a good while before I am really called to task. Tactics, not strategy has always been my mantra.
So today as I wandered past a rather unkempt lawn sporting dry patches and dried-brown hard pan, my inner water strider felt a bit of a nudge. We’ve had enough rain to support the greening of that lawn, if only the homeowners had sprinkled it just a bit to prepare it to receive the nourishing rain. If only they had softened the surface to let the water seep in.
Oh how that seems true in a dozen other arenas too.
If I research the company, I am better prepared for my interview.
If I read the text before class, the lecture makes so much more sense.
If I practice my sporting skills before the big game, I play so much better.
If I prepare the ground to receive the seed
If I plan the steps before needing to execute them
If I bring extra seats around the table in case of later-comers
If I put out feelers so I know the objections
If I ask the questions so I can address them
All of this, to soften the surface. Seasoning, tenderizes. Marinade, flavors. Swim lessons allow the deep dive. Prayer, softens the landing.
Yes, if I take the time do the groundwork, the provision that follows flows so much deeper.
Just don’t ask me how those Olympic spring board divers rip the surface and enter without a single splash. I, in my exceedingly short diving career, landed my back dive splat on my back. Felt like concrete. I wasn’t prepared for that.
I’ve heard ripples are a good idea. Bubbling the waters softens the landing. Of course, if you’re Jesus, you can walk on water at will and dive under when a rescue is required. Thank goodness for that.