I swam four lengths today, it may not seem a lot. The last time I swam was February 2011, I swam a length and a half before giving up. Thirty years ago I would swim twenty, thirty, forty lengths, I remember almost completing two miles once. Four lengths is a start, it’s a not giving up, it is a beginning.
I have given up many times. I gave up my career in cardiology, I feel sometimes like a character in an Anita Shreve novel – walking away on the sand, like Reginald Perrin – walking into the sea, like me – walking away from my job. Whilst picking over apples today in the supermarket I met Ursula. We used to meet for coffee every day in the hospital, we gossiped, moaned, ranted for half an hour and then went back to our different jobs. Ursula gossiped while I chose my Pink Lady apples, she moaned as I found ripe bananas amongst the green ones aand she ranted as I decided between habenero and scotch bonnet chillies. I nodded, tutted, sighed and with much arm waving conveyed that I was listening to her litany of woe. As we parted company I was still nodding, reassuring her that her difficulties had found an empathetic ear. It cost nothing and I gained so much.
I may have walked away for the wrong reasons but this life, my life, now. Priceless. The “Mastercard” ad that does this long shopping list of items and then says ‘seeing my baby smile for the first time… priceless’. In my messy messed up way I made the right decision, with God’s help. And I am able to swim and cycle, meet my husband for lunch and attend bible study all before one o’clock on a Friday.
I had to pass on a dream message this week, no that’s not true, I didn’t have to, no one forced. I chose to pass on the dream message. I gave it in bite sized chunks and what the person does with it is their decision. I love dreaming, day dreams, night dreams, I like the feel of the fuzziness, it plays to my scattiness.
So in my swimming scattiness, my dreamlike trance, my picking over apples I feel God is with me. Familiar goosebumps began on Friday shortly after writing this piece, so much so I stuck it in drafts till I could work out the issue. It’s the giving up or the not giving up, the deciding to push on or pull away, the overwhelming urge to do what I am called to do (positive) against the (negative) holding back, fear of failure, fear of trying, fear of not being acceptable.
Being free in Christ, being free to submit to the Lord, being free to be all – in, total surrender, whatever is required I will do. Spending the month in structured prayer, rather than random prayer before tackling the call
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:7-10