Who would have thought that watching people swim could be exciting? But then, how many people swim like Michael Phelps? I know I’ve been hooked into rooting for him as he goes for a gold medal record. And how about that guy who’s following all those guys with a camera? He must be a really good swimmer! Michael says his life is basically, "I eat, I sleep and I swim." I’m pretty good at two of those three. Don’t look for me in the Olympics.
Interesting info about the difference the pool makes. Sports Illustrated pointed out that surprisingly few records were set at the previous Athens Olympics. Because of the pool. It was shallow. They’re expecting more record-breaking performances in Beijing. Because of the pool. It’s deep. This article explains the difference: "Deep water absorbs turbulence, while shallow water deflects it." The Beijing pool "has been engineered for greatness."
I love that idea that deep water absorbs turbulence. So you can swim farther and faster when the water is deeper. That works for people, too - in our relationship with God. When it’s shallow, life’s turbulence knocks you around more. When you and God are deep, you can swim through it, largely undeterred.
There have been stretches where my time with Him has been inconsistent, abbreviated, dutiful. A little God-treatment on the surface, but not enough to penetrate down into my soul. To move me, change me, fill me up with resources to meet my day. When the pressure and the people started squeezing me, when the bombardment started pounding me, it was Ron who responded, not Ron’s God. And it’s not pretty.
So I am nothing less than desperate to really go deep with God each day. I know what happens if I don’t. I’ve learned "You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You" (Isaiah 26:3). I have to be with God long enough to hear His word for me for that very day. I have to "be still and know" He is God (Psalm 46:10) and let Him into the deep, sometimes dark, corners of my soul.
Shallow won’t make it. Deep absorbs the turbulence. To be a world-class Jesus-follower, we’ve got to swim in a deep pool.
Sports Illustrated - "Michael Phelps - The Quest" by Susan Casey; p. 75.