I was happy to go to church his week. After worship, Pastor opened up the congregation to prayer. He began prophesying over various congregation members. Then his wife began to prophesy to someone. She is blessed and inspiring in her spiritual strength. I was happy, as I always am, to hear her join her husband in prayer. Mrs. Pastor began telling someone about a large body of water, prefacing her words with, "I don't swim so I stay away from the water. . ."
I was taken aback. I know, it's a pet peeve of mine. I'm such a swim geek, I want everyone to be one. And I could look at swimming as optional, as a simple sport preference and go on my way. But I don't look at swimming that way. It is a life skill. What you don't know about swimming can kill you. Is that really a good life strategy? To stay away from the water because you can't swim?
That would influence where you live. You couldn't live in a flood plane, certainly. A big storm could suddenly turn deadly. An island would be out. So would the West Coast, East Coast, or Gulf Coast. Michigan? I guess you could live inland in Michigan, but don't find yourself at one of the thousands of lakes. . .
I get that the longer you've been a non-swimmer, the greater amount of fear you've got to overcome. What I don't get is the decision to live with that fear rather than learn how to swim. Let me make myself clear. I have utmost respect for Mrs. Pastor. I have a problem with her remark, which I found distracting and careless. I am really going after the thinking behind the remark, not the wonderful woman of God who made the remark.
Mrs. Pastor is not the only black person I've heard this from. It's more the norm than the exception in our community, isn't it? I guess the huge Black drowning rate shouldn't be too surprising, then.
Not knowing how to swim is one thing. Bragging or joking about it is another. I wanted to email Mrs. Pastor about how distracting and careless her remark was. I wanted to spread swimming fever throughout the church. . but I just wrote a note about how I couldn't believe (!) and went on listening to the service. And life goes on. Mrs. Pastor is no closer to becoming a swimmer, while I quietly simmer in cyberspace. Is it me? Or do you sit silent while others brag about their lack of swimming skills?
cross posted at http://imswimming.net/2010/05/04/bragging-about-non-swimming/