They have a newer event in the Olympics called the open swim. I saw it yesterday at lunch for a few minutes and it was interesting. Swimmers do their thing in the open water (not a pool, a river !) for around two hours !! That’s a lot of swimming ! They swim around this large circuit guided by buoyies for several laps to make up the required distance. But think about this. Even the best and most prepared swimmers will need some type of break during all that time, the body needs some gatorade or something just as marathon runners would. If you’ve ever witnessed a marathon, there are people along the course who hand out drinks to the competitors to “refuel” them in this grueling contest. So how could this be remedied for people in a river churning away with all their might? Well, the open swim folks came up with an idea. What they did was they had people stationed at various “feeding stations” at the river’s edge. Each swimmer had a person on shore with a long, long pole. The pole had a basket attached and in it a drink of their swimmer’s preference (water, gatorade, etc.). And then the poles had flags on them with numbers corresponding to the number of their athlete. When the swimmer came by they would grab the bottle, chug a few swallows and pitch the rest in the drink (the river !). Then they would press on upstream in their race, a little more nourished.
Some analogies came to mind. In the course of our week, or “swim”, we’re busy and our mind is focused on this or that and the Lord has let us know in His Word we need to stop for a bit and take a good slug to refresh us. I get like this when I study for a sermon, I need to just walk away for a bit to take a break and then I find when I get back to it, its more productive. Certainly the principle of the Sabbath is one way (Ex.20) we can be reinvigorated. The Lord modelled this in the gospels by getting apart from the crowds and even His disciples to pray. Have you ever thought that a time in solitary prayer with just the Lord is a great way of gaining a rest, a fresh perspective, a time to just settle from life’s harried routines and just unwind?
Maybe its the refreshing through a good friend, who can hand you a verse, or a simple encouraging word, a new point of view you hadn’t considered to speed you on the way God has set before you ! Proverbs talks about “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” (25:11) or the idea that this is a beautfiul and refreshing thing to the needy ear/heart. So if you need a recharge of the batteries soon, reach for it, if not right now you will soon. Perhaps someone nearby needs a lift, hold them out a cup for as Jesus said, “For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in My name. . . he shall not lose his reward.” (Mk.9:41) !!