I was getting tired, dog tired but I was still a long ways from shore. The undertow was pulling me farther and farther out and it seemed the real estate my mom and dad had staked out on the beach was getting smaller all the time. I was a strong swimmer because we had a pool at our farm growing up and I knew how to float and rest but the more I rested, the farther I drifted. The waves were not big, maybe a foot or so with swells that would lift and drop me like some automatic teeter-totter.
My parents would take all eight kids on a road trip from Indiana to Florida to visit relatives many years when I was growing up. That was an extremely brave thing for them to do. Picture eight kids born within the span of 10 years surviving a 20 plus hour trip in a station wagon. All without killing each other. I remember frozen sandwiches, playing catch in rest stops, Stuckey’s diners, 2:00 am gas stops, and hours and hours of car games and songs. But I remember most the beaches with the unbelievably blue-green ocean spreading out in front of us. We would throw a football or a Frisbee and laughingly dive into the water to make a spectacular catch. The salt cleaned your sinuses and got in your eyes but we went running back in anyway.
I had my fun but now it was getting serious. My parents had warned me not to go out too far but I was too strong and confident to listen. I started out again swimming against the tide and undertow. I could feel my strength being lapped out of me with each wave, I swam until I could no longer lift my arms and pull. As I rolled over onto my back to float I made one last kick and my toes kicked into something. I had found a hidden sand bar where I could stand. Relief swelled over me as I stood solidly against the drift, the tide and all the waves.
In our POST-postmodern culture we find our world tired and drowning. Our world is searching for something to stand on; something solid to help withstand the drifts, tides and waves of our culture. A solid rock in the midst of a relativistic ocean. Something to cling to, something to hang on to. Something like … a baby born in a manger on Christmas day who was solid enough to split time in half.