Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Me, the water polo player

"How are you doing?" A well-meaning friend asked me.

"I'm keeping my head above water, but that is about it." I responded honestly, but defeatedly.

It has been a hard few months. Just the normal plus some light remodeling, light baby growing, and light homeschooling. My long list of responsibilities is probably similar to yours. It never lets up and there are seasons in life that are tougher than others. Especially with little children in the house. It's easy (and natural) to feel bogged down, like we're treading water.... going absolutely nowhere.

I asked God, "Is this part of your plan? I'm not growing, I'm not changing the world for your glory. I'm barely even taking care of my little world, badly at times. I want to run with perseverance, but I'm tired, all my effort going to just staying afloat."

Centuries ago, when I was young, skinny, and tan, I was a lifeguard at a small camp in southern California. The work was easy and pleasant, about 4 hours a day spent actually guarding swimming children and the rest was spent having fun with my fellow lifeguard. She was a water polo player. Previous to meeting her, I knew nothing about the game other than it looked wet and not very fashionable with those funny swim caps.

That summer I learned the rules of the game and how to properly tread water. There is a lot of strategy in water polo. Strong, powerful leg movements can propel a player from side to side as her head, arms, and shoulders are out of the water. She can throw the ball to a teammate or make a quick toss around the other players to make a goal for her team.

My water polo friend led me through her team's workouts as she practiced for the next season. We toned our legs with laps of just that horrible egg-beater kick, basically treading water, arms out above our heads. Very slowly, pumping our legs in powerful circular movements to go backwards or forwards or even sideways, always with those arms out of the water.

It was grueling exercise. And I had forgotten all about it (or tried to block it) until I thought of the busyness of life and just keeping my head above water. I was thinking of treading water, in a life sense, as a bad thing, like I was just too tired to do anything "important." But treading is still movement and it takes strength that God provides just to stay afloat.

Nope, she's can't touch the
bottom of the pool.
When life gets so hard that we don't even seem to be going anywhere, we cannot forget we still have a part in the game.

"but those who hope in the LORD 

will renew their strength. 

They will soar on wings like eagles; 

they will run and not grow weary, 

they will walk and not be faint." 

Isaiah 40:31

If this season of life has you feeling stagnant, we cannot grow weary. We have hope in the Lord. And He will provide those bursts of energy that propel us forward. We have to be ready, staying afloat, getting the job done, so we  have a chance to participate in changing the world for His glory...  arms out of the water, funny cap and all, making a goal to win the prize.

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, 

I have kept the faith. 

Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, 

which the Lord, the righteous Judge, 

will award to me on that day—and not only to me, 

but also to all who have longed for his appearing."

II Timothy 4:7-8


* As shared on Drops today.


Coleson & Tate said...

Needed this! Thank you! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Message was right on time and such a fresh perspective.

Heather Davis