Swimming in the Fast Lane
by Kathye Hamm
I missed a lot of swimming days in December and January. So, in February – I decided it was time. I donned my suit and got into the water. I swam in my regular lane – the fast lane. Now lest you think I’m bragging, you need to know that by the time I hit the pool, all the ‘hotdog swimmers’ are sitting at their desks at their offices. I swim a bit later than 5:30am, so I miss all those fast swimmers! The medium lane can be filled with really slow swimmers; thus, I usually swim in the fast lane.
There I was – swimming away, glad to be back in the water. I always pray when I swim, so I almost missed the lifeguard putting her red buoy in my lane. That’s a sign for the swimmer to look up and see what the lifeguard wants.
“Hi Ma’am” (I appreciated her politeness, but I always feel kind of old when I get called Ma’am!) “could you please move over to the medium lane? You’re in the way of the faster swimmers.”
I was a bit embarrassed! I felt like everything had been going so well. I felt like nothing had changed since I had last been doing laps.
Well – obviously not. Things had changed. Staying out of the pool for two months had definitely made a difference.
If you’re like me, you spend a good bit of your time “swimming in the fast lane”. There’s so much to do in our work and our personal lives as well as our involvement in our church and other volunteer commitments. It can seem like too much would be lost or simply left undone if we got into the middle or slow lane. But I think being in the slow lane, now and then, is a spiritually, physically and emotionally healthy place to be at times. And Lent is an appropriate time to give yourself that gift.
After being kicked out of the fast lane, I read Psalm 46 for my devotion and prayer time later that day. I can’t read that Psalm without at least humming “A Mighty Fortress”, since it’s the Psalm Martin Luther used to write that hymn.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.(46:1)
Be still and know that I am God! (46:10a)
On your Lenten journey, I encourage you to get out of the fast lane now and then. Remember and give thanks that God is your refuge and strength and is a very present help when you’re in trouble. Slow down for a bit – be still – and recognize and celebrate who God is.
May God bless you all on your Lenten journeys as you spend some time being still.
In Christ’s Love,
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