I am not a good swimmer, but I LOVE swimming, especially outside. Somehow the combination of the water and the sun doesn’t just motivate me to exercise, but it provides a form of therapy for me.
I start my laps by doing a variety of strokes (I like to call them “freestyle” but they are not in competitive swimmers world – they are my freestyle) that have me either on front or side. My “reward” at the end of my laps is to wrap up with back stroke for several laps.
I have no problem staying within the lane lines when I swim forward or on my side. When doing back strokes, especially if the sun is directly overheard, I tend to angle quite a bit and then self correct when I bump into the lane lines.
When I do my laps I choose a lane and I stay within the confines of that boundary. Even when I can’t see clearly where I am going I have some flexibility and freedom. When I bump into a lane line I have a choice – to correct my course to stay in the safety of the lane that is mine or to ignore the lane line and say it doesn’t matter and cross over/under the lane line which would likely lead me to impact (and not in a good way) my fellow swimmers.
I am grateful for those lane lines. Not only do they help me with swimming, but they give me a picture of God’s grace. It is not exact, and certainly not a theological treatise.
I think of the water in the pool as God’s grace. Once I enter the pool I am free to move around anyplace within the pool. When I am in Christ I have a great deal of freedom to live within the vastness of God’s grace.
As I get more serious about what I am doing in the pool I choose a lane. By choosing that lane I am agreeing to stay within the confines of that lane. As I become more mature in my walk with Christ and understand more of His plan for me I submit myself to the lane He designed for me. It may look similar to the lane my friend is in, but it is different. I still have a significant amount of freedom/movement within my lane, but there are boundaries. I can choose to override those boundaries, but my path is much more enjoyable for me and those around when I move within the freedom of my lane in God’s grace!