That is my son’s best time in the 100 yard freestyle, the time he just swam at the 4A Florida State High School meet last Saturday.
a time when each breath was intentional
each stroke intentional
each kick intentional
not just halfway, but all out. Each stroke and breath all out, pushing to the limit, pushing past weariness and pain, driving body past barriers until he touched the wall to finish.
There was a flurry of movement all around as surrounding athletes pushed limits through resistance, water, to record best times, driving at All- American speeds: 44 seconds, 45 seconds 46 seconds.
Behind those seconds are hours and hours of work. Miles and miles of yardage logged to get the speed, endurance to be able to charge through those few seconds all out.
Hours put in early when the moon and stars still fill the sky.
Hours put in in pouring rain and cold temperatures.
Swimming ….a truly inspirational sport, one of true discipline
as the one standing on the blocks, poised to move forward, every muscle tensed, anticipating the start
is the only one who knows the preparation, the hours and yards and conditions endured to ready himself for that brief race.
I have fought the good fight, I have stayed the course, I have finished the race….2 Timothy 4:7
It is the last push that determines the winner.
The last reach, the last stroke head down
in the final reach for the wall.
The final time.
The glance at the clock that records time is only a measure of the discipline and perseverance endured to reach that mark of 47.4 seconds.
In our own moments, we endure those seconds of push in life where we are beyond ourselves
grinding through resistance, the churning waters that surround, laboring past the pain and weariness
that place beyond ourselves that is glorious and exhausting
that place where we can help another
or bring a smile to a face by a simple act of kindness
or see a terminal situation in a new light, though the situation has not changed
those are moments of glory.
Psalm 89:17 says, “For you are the glory of their strength.”
These are the moments, lasting a bit longer or shorter than 47 seconds, that inspire us through the hard places,
These moments of inspiration push us to look beyond the pain to reach for something greater to better ourselves, or even greater, to better someone else.
There is great gain in launching into deep waters. In going beyond limits to do something impossible or unattainable. And whether or not that thing is attained or just beyond grasp there is victory in the trying, in the drive to get to wall to the place beyond your limit. To bring you beyond yourself into the unknown. To places beyond borders.
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever you would find me
“Oceans” by Hillsong
We become tired and weary of the places we are called to go, determined by choice or by circumstance…to care for the widow, the orphan, to be the single mom, to juggle the finances, to walk with cancer.
We think we can’t propel past the pain and weariness to move forward, one motion at a time, one stroke at a time, one kick at a time.
Somewhere deep in our soul, we find the guts to move on. Faith gives us the push to move forward.
Triumph comes not in the time or the medal or the accolade because most of the time there is none. Triumph comes in the strength attained that often times unknowingly inspires another to find the same.