Today I went for a swim at the gym and struggled up and down the pool for 15 minutes.
The last time I went for a swim I swam for a mile and then kept going for the fun of it.
The problem is that was 9 years ago and in the intervening period I had lost a lot of fitness and got older so what was easy then is hard work now.
The other odd thing about my swimming now is that I mainly do a lazy breaststroke and I struggled down a length of backstroke before I wore myself out trying a length of front crawl – not helped by messing up my breathing and trying to take a breathe in with my face under water!!! The odd thing is breaststroke was the last stroke I mastered having started by managing a width of ‘crawl’ (doggy paddle?) aged 10 and mastering backstroke a year later. As far as I remember (and this is a long time ago) I had actually swum a width butterfly before I could manage breaststroke but now it seems to be the only way I can swim.
This strange turn of events got me thinking (always dangerous) about the way things change as we go through life; what was once easy becomes hard and what was hard becomes second nature. That is the way life is and it would be very odd if we were the same at 50 (OK – nearer 60) as at 20.
The really odd thing is how many Christians try to remain in a teenage faith as they get older and how the church does very little to encourage Christians to grow and develop their faith. Having spent most of my life in an evangelical church I have often wondered about the number of young Christians who drift away from the Church as they move into their late teens and early 20s and now I think I know why – the church doesn’t show them how to grow up in their faith so they leave it behind as something they have outgrown.
To prevent this happening Churches have to enable young Christians to grow into a mature faith that doesn’t rely on feelings and music but enables them to deal with doubt and disappointment.