I began swimming this week. I prefer swimming to running, I’ve always been a swimmer, I used to swim quite avidly. And in my ongoing (but easily derailed) quest to have better physical fitness, I made a deal with a special member of our church and now I’ve got one month to get back into good enough shape to swim a mile without stopping.
You see, this amazing person is in physical rehab right now, and it’s hard on her. So I told her that I would join in on the fun and swim every day. She asked if I wasn’t just doing things at my leisure, so I set a ridiculous goal and now I hope to channel her remarkable, stubborn will as I start back up and see what happens.
So I’m swimming yesterday and I realize just how out of shape I am. I swam thirteen laps, which is just over a third of a mile, and I was done. The guys in the lanes next to me were going much faster, much more confidently, much longer, but I swam a third of a mile more than I did in the last month yesterday, and certainly more than if I would have sat on the couch after work.
I’m not writing this to pat myself on the back, I assure you. I will brag like a maniac when I swim a mile without stopping on April 1. Instead, I’d like to pull out a few parallels to this and the Jesus Practicum.
The Jesus Practicum will happen when weather doesn’t negate it, and it’s a chance to see where you’re at in your discipleship in conversation and over soup. Spiritual practice is like any discipline or hobby—the more you do it, the more results you see—so even if you’ve taken time off from it, there’s benefits in starting back up. And it might change things for the better in your spiritual life of discipleship, if you keep doing it. And, of course, it’s best to work on new stuff in community and covenant, even when it’s hard. Accountability and presence go hand in hand.
I’m writing this on Tuesday, and watching the skies for Wednesday. I hope I’ll see y’all [tonight] and if not, then definitely on Sunday. It’s a pleasure getting to walk with you as we seek to know Jesus.