I observed a swim lesson the other day between a boy who looked to be about 8 or 9-years-old and a regular swim instructor at the pool. I had seen the two of them make several passes together to either end of the pool and then watched the instructor demonstrate the freestyle to the little boy. This especially caught my attention, because I’ve been wanting to get back into swimming laps a little too and don’t think I can remember all the strokes that were drilled into me freshman year of college.
The instructor smoothly, gracefully moved through the water with about 6 strokes and stopped for the little boy to do the same. Let me tell you, there was a lot of movement and even more splashing and not a lot of progress and as I watched those skinny arms chop away at the water in no other manner I could describe as furious. I watched the expression on the instructor’s face: he was grinning. But not mocking grinning, just pleased. He could see that this kid was really serious about the task. He had the gumption but not the grace–yet.
I immediately thought this must be how God sometimes observes us, our fits and starts, our impatience, our haste, we are eager to please, eager to get the task done, so we fire out of the cannon, but pretty soon we’re swimming in circles, getting pulled down by the little whirlpool we’ve created for ourselves, and all the time he’s grinning, because he sees the intentions of our hearts, he sees how eager we are to please, to move forward, to progress and succeed. So yes, He is pleased when we are fireballs for Him, but I think his grin is even bigger when we allow the timing in our head to slow down to the timing in our limbs.
Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
Care to share how this principle has played out in your own life?
Photo under Creative Commons license by MarViniz