Below the Waterline

Posted on November 27, 2012 by


Image courtesy of dan/

I am too busy!  I have too many things to do!  My schedule is packed and I’m always running late! If I don’t do it, nobody will!  If I don’t do it, it won’t be done right! I would love to have time to rest but too many people are counting on me!  I wouldn’t know what to do if I wasn’t busy!

Although on the surface these seem to be schedule issues, beneath the surface, they are often rooted in deep dysfunctions of the heart.  In our regional training group we have been discussing these below the waterline issues for quite some time. We recognize that we can make it look good above the waterline and get affirmed for all of our accomplishments and successes, yet, if  we are honest, there are often lots of holes below the waterline and the boat may be close to sinking.

Beneath the surface, below the waterline, lie the hidden weaknesses, the true affections of our heart, the true motivations of our actions.  St. Ignatius Loyola called these weaknesses disordered affections, functions of the heart and soul that have been disordered and twisted by sin.  For example our identity and purpose were meant to be found in Christ, yet we look for our identity and purpose in so many other things.  Because our hearts are disordered, we then live disordered lives.  If we don’t slow down, if we don’t have a healthy rhythm of work and rest, if we don’t take time to look below the waterline, we live blind to our own weaknesses completely unaware of the disorder in our lives.  We live enslaved to the dysfunction, not experiencing the power and freedom of the Gospel.

Tim Keller talks about the power of deep rest in his new book Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work (Dutton, 2012). “Anyone who cannot obey God’s command to observe the Sabbath is a slave, even a self-imposed one. Your own heart, or our materialistic culture, or an exploitative organization, or all of the above, will be abusing you if you don’t have the ability to be disciplined in your practice of Sabbath.  Sabbath is therefore a declaration of our freedom.  It means you are not a slave—not to your culture’s expectations, your family’s hopes, your medical school’s demands, not even to your own insecurities. It is important that you learn to speak this truth to yourself with a note of triumph—otherwise you will feel guilty for taking time off, or you will be unable to truly unplug.”  via The Power of Deep Rest – The Gospel Coalition Blog.

Often we don’t slow down for fear that the holes below the waterline will be exposed.  We are afraid of not having it all together….

What if slowing down exposes the truth of who we are?

What if the truth of who we are really is embraced by the Gospel?

What if the Gospel really can transform what is below the waterline?

Slowing down and exercising a healthy spiritual rhythm is exactly what it takes live in the glorious freedom of the Gospel.

It is exactly what we need?

Looking to take a day away…check out this blog post about how to spend a day away in retreat. YoSteve: A Plan for a Retreat Day.