Recently I’ve started going swimming each week. I began my new regime because I was told that it was the best exercise for my body, but I have unexpectedly found it is also good for my spirit. This is because I often pray or listen to God as I swim slowly but purposefully up and down the pool. One day, as I headed toward the end of the pool a thought occurred to me: swimming is a bit like the Christian life.
In swimming there are two issues to consider; the support of the water and the actions of the swimmer. There is no doubt that the water will hold you up if you can relax, and in this way it is possible to float. It is very restful, but it does not move you forward towards the end of the pool. Conversely, if you can’t trust the water, even doing suitable movements will not help you to swim to your goal. What is necessary is for the swimmer to do two things simultaneously. He needs to be disciplined in his actions and to relax in harmony with the supporting water. Can you see the analogy with the Christian life?
God’s love is the medium in which we desire to live and move. His love upholds us and if we relax and allow His love to support us, we will ‘float’ in His love. However He has made us for a purpose and has plans for our lives and He wants us to reach our full potential. So we need to do our part in order to move forward and not to just float aimlessly. We need to learn the discipline of the ‘strokes’ of the Christian life. This involves learning God’s ways and being obedient to His patterns of living.
So, you and I need to do two things to fulfill our destiny. We need to rest and relax in His love and at the same time move in a disciplined and purposeful way in obedience to Him. It’s just like swimming!
Prayer: Father, help me to relax and know that Your love is there to support me every day of my life. But also teach me to learn from You and work with You, so I can fulfill my destiny and live my life to the full. Amen.
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