Community in Action November 2, 2020

Read Jonah chapters 1-3 sometime this week.

    Today while swimming I thought of Jonah. I have a daily goal for my swimming and in order to meet it I need to finish each lap by a certain time. If you count one lap up and back, I need to do five, up and back, laps in a certain time. Since most places I swim have a clock I can time myself. I also use the clock to make sure I am counting the number of laps correctly. Sometimes I skip a lap or add an extra lap by mistake so if I am around my usual time I know I have completed the correct number of laps.

    In order to get these laps done I try to do a flip turn, modified since I haven’t had a lot of training in doing them, and I try to breath at the same interval. The sped of my stroke also effects the timing of my laps as well as the consistency of my kick.

    All in all it have to kick consistently, stroke continually, breathe at correct intervals, and do the modified kick turn with precision. I find that the first fifteen, up and back, laps aren’t too difficult, but as the laps add up all kinds of things can go wrong or won’t be done as precisely as I would like.

    I maybe too close or too far away to make a good kick turn, I may kick erratically because I lose my train of thought, or I may shorten my stroke because I am not paying attention. The little voice inside of me says, “Hey, you messed up. Now your timing will be off. You may not have time to do your regular number of laps.”

    When that happens I need to remember I am doing this for exercise, not for an olympic medal. Even if I was doing this for competition there will be moments when my timing is off for the kick turn or I may miss the correct breath interval or I may shorten my stroke by accident. But as in all competition you correct what you did wrong and keep going. You may need to push a little bit, but what ever time you lose you can make up.

    I have found that I just need to keep going and recapture my focus. I need to let the mistakes go and regain the correct form or interval. I find that at the end of the swim I am usually within a minute or two of where I had hoped to be and sometimes that minute may be on the fast side rather than the slower side.

    Jonah, as we talked yesterday in the service, was actually called by God twice to do his bidding. The first time he ran the other way. There was no question of God’s urgency there was no second guessing where God called Jonah to go, but God gave Jonah a second chance, even after he deliberately failed to answer the call. God made it clear to Jonah that he wasn’t following the call correctly, but he could have a “redo.” Which Jonah did and the results were fantastic.

    Have you ever needed a “redo?” I have just shared with you my continually need for redos when I am swimming, but on the more serious side I have not always followed through as God would have me do when I hear God’s call. Yet, I find that God is willing to give me another chance, just like he did with Jonah.

    We have a forgiving and merciful God and God desires us to partner with him in this creation as he takes care of us and this world. So know that God is a God of additional chances. If you, like me, have times that you feel you have failed or not done what you should have done, God will give you another chance.

    Let us receive those additional opportunities and give others mercy just as we have been given mercy.

    Learning to be merciful to myself and others as God is merciful to me,

    Pastor Randy

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