He made his way across the lane toward me, his arm came up and suddenly paused, completely unnaturally, before he deliberately set it into the water in front of him. I smiled as his other arm did the exact same thing. And again, and again… until I was giggling.
“I’m exaggerating, of course,” He said when he stopped. “But that’s what you look like! This sort of deliberate placement of your hand into the water. That’s not what you want.
“When you reach forward,” he continued, “you really have to believe that that motion is going to bring you forward. Not just pulling back through the water, but straighten your arm on your recovery and spear your arm into the water in front of you. Keep the momentum going and really believe that just that motion will bring you forward.”
I couldn’t help it, but I was still giggling.
“What are you giggling about?” he asked, smiling.
He didn’t know it, and I wasn’t about to tell him, but that’s the way I am in LIFE!
I just answered, mimicking him mocking me by moving my arms in the same hesitant, unnatural way into the water, “Let me just think about this…”
He smiled. “Yes, maybe don’t think so much.”
If I had a dollar bill for every time I was told not to overthink things… well, I’d have quite the sum of money, let me tell you.
This was several weeks ago, now. But lately, I can’t get the thought of that hesitation out of my head. I can’t get those words, “Reach forward like you really believe you will go forward,” out of my ears.
Because sometimes, I don’t. In life. In swimming. In moments that are opportunities that I lose to my fragile insecurities because I did not reach because I did not believe…
Reach forward, and believe that that will bring you forward.
The reaching and believing go hand in hand. It’s an “and” that connects them, not a “then”. Reach and believe, believe and reach.
It’s the reaching that brings the forward, not just the believing. There is a forward for you. There is! Maybe you’re not quite reaching for it. Maybe somebody can show you how. And when you know where you’re going, reach with everything you can! Don’t do it half-heartedly. Don’t think each motion through so much that you lose your momentum. Don’t overthink.
Reach for it, really reach – throw yourself into whatever Yahweh has for you with wild, relentless, passionate abandon. This is not at the expense of your mind, but at the expression of your everything!
I catch myself forgetting. I catch myself being lazy. I catch myself not focused. It’s a hard thing. It’s not easy. To reach and to believe… that’s a physical action of a spiritual reality.
But the result… is that you go somewhere! That you get there faster! That you get there at all! You’re not dead in the water. You’re not floundering. There is another side, and if you just reach and believe, you will get to that other side!
Reach, and believe that that will bring you forward.
Because it will.