A few days ago I posted about going to a practice swim meet for my "first." Today was the real deal. I was a bit more prepared. I now know what a bullpen is. It's like the on deck circle in baseball. When your race is only a few races away, you go to the bullpen so you are ready to step up to the starter's block when your race is announced. Her team swam with 3 other teams tonight. I'm still not sure how this works. At the end of each race (and there were a lot of races; somewhere in the neighborhood of 80), the scoreboard would flash the lane number, what place the person in that lane finished in, and what their time was. They did not announce who the winner was and I never saw anything that said if our team was winning or some other team was winning. I'm not sure if team scores were kept. Maybe they were and I just did not know where. One really good thing is that I did not hear any parents yell at the referees tonight. That does not seem to be a part of swim meet activities. Of course, the referees don't have as many decisions to make (it seems to me; I could be wrong) as in baseball or basketball.
The swimmers all did great. There was one boy about 6-8 years old that swam to one end of the pool and was supposed to swim back to the other end. He was not very quick on the turn. The coach was saying, "You can do it, you can do it." He seemed to be talking back to her. Though I could not hear what the boy was saying, the body language said, "No, I can't. No, I can't." They engaged in this conversation (during the race) for about 5-10 seconds and then off he went to the other end. His coach continued to yell (nicely), "You can do it, you can do it." He did not seem too sure and neither was I. I thought I was going to see a lifeguard rescue in my first live swim meet. He indeed did make it. We enjoyed our first swim meet. We were very proud of Hannah Grace for competing.
Pre-race meal at Hannah Grace's favorite restaurant; Chik-Fil-A
Hannah Grace swimming
As I watched the young man I mentioned above struggling through his race, I sympathized with him. We've all been in places where we were tired and ready to quit. I was amazed that he didn't. Then I thought, well, if you were to get in trouble in the water, a swim meet is the place to do it. There were lifeguards there. In fact, they swapped out a few times during the night. There were a lot of swimmers there. There were also swim coaches that you would think could probably swim pretty well. There were also parents of swimmers and you would think some of them could swim well (not me, but you would think some could). If someone had gotten in trouble in the water, they would have been surrounded by swimmers. The place was full of qualified people to help.
The church ought to be something like that. If someone in a church gets in trouble, they are surrounded by people who should be able and willing to help. If a church member is struggling with temptation, gets caught in a sin, has family troubles, or something like that, there should be plenty of people around to jump in and help. They are surrounded by professing Jesus followers who are supposed to love their neighbors as themselves.
Sadly, that is not always the case. Sometimes the person in trouble refuses to ask for help. If a person is drowning in the water, I would expect them to yell for help. That is their responsibility. Sadly, Christians are sometimes too prideful to do that. If help is offered, they sometimes still refuse. They would rather pretend everything is OK; a bad choice for a drowning person. Sometimes the people around him are hesitant to offer help. They are afraid it might be refused, afraid they won't be able to help very well, or maybe they are just too self-centered. Whatever the reason, we need to be on the lookout for fellow Christians in trouble and be ready to help. If we are having trouble, we should not be too self-centered to offer help. We don't need people drowning surrounded by swimmers.
Galatians 6: 1-2 says, "Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Grateful for others living the abundant life around me
3 things I thank God for today
3. Cool evening at the end of May