Sunday, 16 July 2017

On swimming on Sunday mornings

God told me to go for a swim this morning.
I know!
You'd think with Brexit,
and Trump,
and the Middle-East
God would have more important things to think about.

But nevertheless, this morning,
when the options were

1. Go for a swim in the lake
2. Take Daisy for a walk
3. Go to church, though Chris is preaching on a subject close to home and I'm off sick,

God sent me swimming.

The road to the lake is a winding one.
The men in the big white car behind me, clearly wanted to get in the car with me.
They beeped goodbye to me as I turned off,
and gave me a special wave.
At least I think that's what it was....

Anyway,
for those who don't know I've recently started wild swimming.
The option is either to swim in a wetsuit, complete with hat and goggles;
or in 'skins', which isn't nearly as rude as it sounds,
but means you swim in a costume,
with hat and goggles and a tow-float so you can be seen.

I swim in 'skins'.
The only fashion statement I can make is having a pink tow-float to match my pink hat.
But I appreciate the feel of the water on my skin,
and the cold,

So anyway,
I've been to this place a few times recently.
This morning, for the first time, a few of the swimmers spoke to me in the water.
A general hello, a comment on the weeds, and off.

I find the vaccum-packed look,
(ie. wetsuits)
a bit intimidating.
As I mooch along doing breast-stroke,
with my pink tow-float obediently following,
I feel I'm not in their league.
But that's ok as they're inevitably in training for the next competition.

For me it's all about the moment,
the water,
the breath,
the communion....
with God
with nature
with life.

Today after my swim
all 750 metres of it,
I decided to grab my towel and get a coffee.

And in the cafe,
the guy who'd shocked me by speaking earlier,
said Hi and asked if I was taking my coffee outside.

Now lets get a few things clear.
Yes, I'm happily married
ie. not used to having coffee with strangers.
Yes, I like my own space and would happily have sat alone.

But a number of things came to mind.
1. I'd heard about the camaraderie and kinship of wild-swimmers,
2. He seemed genuinely friendly, after all he's the first one ever to speak to me in the water.
3. I knew God had wanted me here at the lake this morning.

So we sat
and we chatted
about swimming,
and spouses,
and children,
and family,
and yes you've guessed it
church.

We talked about living out faith.
He told me about his work.
I explained about mine
and inevitably he asked me why I wasn't at work on a Sunday morning.
When I told him I was off he looked in my eyes and very bluntly asked
'What's wrong with you?'

When I said, 'depression',
he said,
"What with that smile,
and that sparkle in your eyes?"

And I smiled and explained some more.
Depression is not about being sad.
I do smile.
I can sparkle.
But it's hard to function 'normally' with this weight dragging you down.
Doing the exact opposite of my lovely pink tow-float.

As we parted.
Nick said, 'God bless you.' and hugged me.
And I went away blessed.

And you know the sensitive topic Chris was preaching about this morning?
It was part of a series on Elijah,
The point where Elijah sits under the broom tree.
Depressed,
Despairing.
In fear of his life.
And God sends him a ministering angel to tend to his needs.

And the irony is not lost on me.
That God,
Creator,
Preserver
and Governor of all things
should have factored me in to His day.

Yes He has got 'important stuff' to do.
But in the moments of my life,
nothing is as important to Him as communion with me.
And with you.

He took something I love,
and made it more wonderful,
more grace-full,
more inspiring.

God meets us where we are.
Thank the Lord for that.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

It amazes me still that in our brokenness God uses us. Thank you for sharing x

Anonymous said...

Earth really is crammed with heaven even when we are depressed. Thanks for sharing, Karen! GBY real good with love 'through' it all!