I remember as a child visiting friends on hot summer days who had a swimming pool in the back yard which was often utilized in such climes.
On one such occasion the kids (about 12 of us) would each stand on the outside of the above ground pool, stick a hand in the water and all walk in the same direction. This creates somewhat of a weak vortex but one that had enough pull in it to centralize people and objects within it.
Once we were done with that direction we would try going the other way. Water splashes as the arms change direction. Going against the current we need to build a momentum to change the direction of the vortex.
It is a strange phenomenon but as the water changes direction there is a time when the center spins the old way while the outside spins in the new direction. There comes a time when the center catches up and spins the way anew. We would then revert to the other direction and so on. Fun for hours.
I am reminded of the popular sayings “swimming upstream” and “only a dead thing goes with the current”. The same can be said in this situation as the current changes with the direction of the flow of the bulk water.
The difference though is that the direction of the water cannot be changed from within the water.
In the world, not of it.
Many people in society are dead things. If they are “living things” many more are just happy to go with the flow and not cause any ripples – just go along with it and all will be ok. This is not for us.
As Christians we each have a part to play. Each of us, if we are true to our calling, has a hand in the pool. Collectively each single hand contributes in its own way to bringing about a change – a change that can only be created from being separated from it; a change that will be hard to go against initially and will create ripples. Yet we must persevere together (a collection of individual efforts in the same direction) to bring about effective change.