Swimming Through Life
By Mark Long
“In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” -- 2 Peter 1:5-8
Competitive swimming is one of the most popular and exciting Olympic sports to watch.
How do they swim so fast while making it look effortless? As a triathlete who never swam before entering the sport, swimming can be challenging to master.
Studies show that swimming is 80% technique and 20% fitness. So, figuring out how to move through the water efficiently determines how well you swim far more than your fitness. It requires the use of one's entire body to move through water in a smooth and streamlined manner.
By learning, developing and practicing technique, swimmers can master the sport. Proper body position is essential, with the head down, rhythmic breathing, the timing of inhaling and exhaling and efficient kicking. The stroke involves a proper hand entry, reach, catch and pull of the water, then arm recovery. The core is engaged as the shoulders rotate. And lastly, taking direction from a coach is a must! All together these create the forward propulsion desired and one that reduces resistance and drag.
The technique of swimming and all that goes into it is similar to how we master the Christian faith and move through life, depending on the Master (our Father) with every breath. We learn from God’s Word, develop Christ-like character and practice loving God and others. We don’t muscle our own way through life. We wait patiently as our Head Coach, the Holy Spirit, uses life experiences to develop our faith and character.
We put ourselves in the proper position to hear God’s voice by spending time in His presence. We keep our heads down and in prayer continuously. We breathe in His grace and breathe out His praise. Our hand reaches and catches God’s Word as we start each day. This engages our core as we train spiritually and learn to live with God’s power according to His plan.
As we practice these disciplines, we reduce the resistance of the Evil One and the drag he attempts to put on our lives. As we train with other Christ-followers, we are victorious because of what Jesus did on the cross. “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10). Swimming through life is one of abundant joy when we know and follow Jesus.
- What specific area of your spiritual training could use more time and attention?
- Are you putting yourself in the right place and position to hear God’s voice?
- Is there any resistance or drag in your life that needs to be identified and called out?
1 Timothy 4:7-8, John 10:10, Romans 5:3-5
“Father, thank You for teaching us through Your Word that life with You is purposeful and meaningful. Thank You for the powerful work of Your Holy Spirit in our lives that guides, directs and leads us to a life everlasting. Help us to regularly step outside of ourselves and into Your presence so that we can hear Your voice and experience You and the depth of Your love. Then, help us to give that love away to others.”