My husband and I swim laps at a local high school pool. I can’t say I’m the exercise enthusiast he is but I always leave the pool glad I went.
When we arrive I quickly scope out the available lanes. I don’t like to share a lane with my husband because our stroke style is very different and quite frankly he’s too splashy for me. If I’m lucky I grab a lane to myself or share with another gentler swimmer. Today I lucked out. I had a lane to myself.
Swimming laps used to be boring to me until I quit counting laps and turned the monotonous experience into a time of worship and contemplation.
It’s amazing how therapeutic it can be. The water creates a barrier between the outside world and me. My body eventually moves in a steady rhythm that seems to invite me into God’s presence. The cleared space welcomes inspirational thoughts and released burdens. I love it.
The solo lane I got today was the last one located next to the free-swim area where children were playing. I figured I could ignore the distractions and swim closer to the other side. Shortly after I started my laps however, the lane on the other side of me added two very splashy swimmers. In a matter of minutes my lane became a cross between a washing machine and tsunami. I found myself drifting from side to side trying to dodge the turbulence. I strategized how to set my pace in front of the annoying swimmers or hug the barrier to miss their wake. I was determined to figure this out and enjoy the swim.
Halfway into my session I reached for the ledge to make a turn and noticed my husband signaling me to trade lanes with him. He had been watching and knew how uncomfortable I was.
It wasn’t until I slipped into the peaceful water of his lane that I realized how bad the other situation had been. The stillness of the water and its quiet calm welcomed me. The change seemed to propel my stroke with renewed energy.
I couldn’t help but draw the correlation between life in general and my swim at the pool today.
Sometimes it takes another person or outside source to recognize our struggle and point out the need for a ‘lane change’ in our life. Perseverance alone isn’t always enough to bring us through our difficult places. Without realizing it – we become battle weary and tired. It’s during the times we need it the most that we can become distracted away from worship and communion with God. The steady small annoyances are more damaging then we give them credit for.
I hope you have places and times you’re able to escape – a place you go to release and refuel.
If you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, expending more energy than you regenerate – you might be ready for a lane change. Look up. Someone just might be inviting you to his peaceful waters.
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