Submitted by Sharon Blyth on Fri, 08/07/2022 - 12:35 Have you ever swam in the sea and felt the delicious combination of salt and tide lifting you up? Last weekend I 'stood up' in the water of Porthpean in Cornwall and experinced the life that comes from sea swimming. Well, sea-treading-water, actually . I am a very weak and nervous swimmer, but my teenage daughters with me were strong swimmers, so I felt safe in this stationary position. However, when it came to going back to shore, I found I could neither go forward or back. I looked out the sea and then to the shore - but remained in place. Is that what it feels like in Church life at the moment? We are know we cannot go back to 'pre-Covid', but we we are not sure what the future looks like and how to get there. What did Jesus say about moving forward, and paths and gates? "Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep." (John 10:7). He gives us safety and life. But what does this suggest about looking back and looking forward? Wherever we go next in our churches and our own faith-lives, it must be through the gate of Jesus. That is what the adventure of Jesus Shaped People is all about. Studying the words of Jesus and using his model for life to shape our own lives. An adventure even greater than sea-swimming. But it requires encouragement and team, just like the team of teenagers who helped to get me to shore! Of course I moved forward and eventually made it back to shore, but it did require effort and I had to overcome my fear. And I still could not put my fact in the water! Time to get swimming lessons, and time to apply this to my 'spiritual swimming' I think.