Ministry Is Like Swimming Laps

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Nothing beats serving Jesus and to be on mission for the Kingdom of God. However, as exciting as that sounds, the truth is, ministry does have its low and seemingly aimless seasons.

As I did my laps in the pool, it dawned upon me that ministry is rather similar to swimming laps. There is that hesitation before plunging in, wondering if the water might just be too cold. Overcoming that (by faith, of course), you make the leap and you are in! “Hey, this is fun, refreshing and invigorating! I could do this forever!” you declare to yourself. And then, the laps and the monotony kick in. And you wonder, “How many more laps?”

For those who have been in the ministry for a while, I’m sure you understand what I am talking about. It really is like swimming laps. You swim 50 metres forward and then another 50 metres backward, only to arrive at where you first began. By distance, it’s 100 metres; but by displacement, it’s zero! Going by what I learnt in physics, if work done is determined by force x displacement, then all the effort resulted in ZERO work done!

Of course, you know that is not entirely true. But it sure feels that way, doesn’t it? After a few more laps, when your limbs ache and the goggles fog up, you begin to really believe your “A” Level physics lecturer. Or more likely, in this case, the condemnation and accusation of the enemy. Am I getting any work done? Am I effective? Am I productive? Am I doing what I am supposed to be doing?

As I pondered this, the Lord encouraged me, “Yes, ministry is like swimming laps. At times, it feels like you’re going nowhere and getting no work done but you’re still making waves, keeping toned and even developing muscles. So keep going.” Wow! How’s that for perspective?

As Dory sang in the animated movie, Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.”, so I will keep serving in the ministry as the Lord will grant me that privilege and honour. Even when I don’t see things happening, and especially when it gets dry and weary, I will keep going on that I may be found faithful to fulfil the call.

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