The economy of this world will never find its occupants risking all that they have to search for the inexhaustible treasure of God's infinite wisdom and knowledge. Why would we dive deep if our hope is blindly invested in the belief that the greatest riches of understanding are found within us? We can take it to the bank, the world has always and will always deposit its human resources in shallow waters that swirl with sinful pride and foam with failed promise.
Social media may be giving us a front-row seat to a world selfishly vying for advancement in a sea of superficiality, but it's not a novel show of newfound narcissism. We've just never had the privilege of observing the spectacle close enough to rightly assess how desperate we become when we attempt to stay afloat by the muscle of our own making. Gone are the days when we were too occupied listening to the delightful squeals of 3-year-olds to lend an ear to grown-ups. The coup of technology fixed that problem. "Look at me! Look at me!" is no longer the solo of the innocent, it's the chorus of the culpable.
No matter how hard we try to convince ourselves otherwise, when we swim in the shallow waters of this world we will inevitably find ourselves being swept downstream with those schooled in the art of self-preservation. And even if we're skilled swimmers who warmly pull others along, our motivation will be driven by a selfishness that's as equally dark as the sin of those who coldly pull others under. Because it will be all about gaining glory for ourselves, and we will be as kind or as cruel as it takes to secure it. Even if we articulate that the expressed desire of our heart is to love God and love others, swimming in the superficiality of this world will inevitably find us caught in a current that has us fixated on saving and savoring our own skin.
Diving deep for the riches of God's wisdom isn't about isolating ourselves from the world while we plumb the depths of our own "unpolluted" pond. It's about swimming humbly in the sea of this fallen world with fins of love and grace, refusing to delight in any message of superficiality that suggests there is treasure to be found that's more valuable than Christ.
Diving deep for the riches of God's wisdom is about a refusal to delight in any superficial message that suggests we glorify God by glorifying ourselves. It's about a woman refusing to dance in the shallow waters of self-promotion that house her on the balcony of her castle as an entitled princess, proudly proclaiming with spiritual vibrato that she is the daughter of the king; and instead, it's about that woman delighting in substantive gospel truth that frees her from her vanity enough to point to Christ and boldly proclaim "Behold the King!"
And diving deep for wisdom is also about a refusal to delight in any superficial message that suggests strength can be found in the masking of weakness. It's about a man refusing to dance in the shallow waters of protection that call him to stand up in pride, secure his crown of control, and state his position of power; and instead, it's about that man delighting in substantive gospel truth that compels him to stand down in humility and surrender his delusion of strength to the Kings of kings.
The world is a waltz on the surface of shallow waters where dancers seem to take nothing as seriously as they take themselves. It's a weary troupe masquerading as creatures of control, living vibrantly on the outside but dying on the inside. Fearful of unmasking the reality of their emptiness, their relationships often suffer more deeply than they are willing to dive. Their only remedy for the pain is to care less. Care less about others, care more about self.
True biblical friendship (within marriage and without) takes a particularly hard hit when it lands in shallow waters, for a true friend isn't content to dance on the surface while cheering on a charade. A true friend isn't willing to blindly reinforce any prideful delusions or rally around any selfish ambition that defends its own deception. They're going to hold the friendship to the scrutiny of the gospel even if it wounds. When the comfort of the superficial is too highly valued for relational functioning to exist in deeper waters of authenticity, fraudulent connection will be exposed. Selfish desire is incredibly skilled at masquerading as genuine friendship, but it's a deadly counterfeit. At one time or another, most of us will experience having our heart inflicted with wounds of betrayal from being led to believe we were being offered something we were never given. The wounds will be instructive in reminding us of our own need for grace to dive deep into the Word and live in the reality of the gospel. A gospel of grace that makes the gift of true biblical friendship too precious not to be rare.
In God's appointed time, there is coming a day when the shallow waters of this world will host its final waltz. Meanwhile Christians will find that there's always a dance card flashing before us with our name on it. But there's Good News, and it's that we have been granted grace upon grace to decline the tempting offer in exchange for a diving expedition that is certain to exceed our wildest imagination. A diving expedition that our Faithful Guide has promised will fill our lungs with joyful praise as it overwhelms our fearful heart with love and overshadows our restless spirit with peace.