You know I watch you. Watch you as you swim each stroke. And I see the dissapointment in your eyes as you hop out of the pool; hitting the wall after others. And I want you to know something my wonderful son.
I see you dive in, swim the pull out effortlessly. You come up and begin the breaststroke. And watching you, it truly is a thing of beauty. My eyes well with tears as I watch you swim. You are beautiful to watch in the water. You know that I think that. It is not just because I am your mom, but because, as I see you swim, swim against others that are faster, I see the care that you put in each pull, in each glide of the stroke. Not all swimmers have the beauty and grace you do in the water as you swim breaststroke, even if they get to the finish line faster.
I want you to know that it matters. What you do, how you do it. It matters. This is your art and the beauty with which you complete each stroke, is giving glory to God. And it not only makes me smile, but it puts a smile on the face of God as well.
If I could help you understand one thing right now Joshua, it would be this. Winning is great. But pushing yourself to be your best is better, and fully doing whatever you are doing with care and precision, well, that is your art, and when you live out your art, that is the best. It is ok to not be the fastest or strongest. It is ok to not be the first to cross the finish line. Ultimately, I hope that as you swim lap after lap, that you recognize how all of these things apply to the spiritual life. That, ultimately, God does not want you to muscle through and finish first for your glory, but He is calling you, all of us, to grow in virtue, to do everything we do with prayer, with intention, no matter how we do in the eyes of the world. When we do that, we become stronger on the journey toward heaven And when we do that, what we are doing becomes a thing of beauty. And it gives Him glory and you joy.
May you feel that joy, dear son, because you certainly bring me joy each and every day.