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Swim lessons and spiritual growth

From the November 16, 2015 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel


This past summer I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Grenada on a trip with other teenagers who are Christian Scientists. It was an amazing experience! I felt so surrounded by divine Love everywhere I went, and I had many healing experiences throughout the trip. 

Swimming
— KEN BAUGHMAN—STAFF

Our group’s goals while there were to teach swim lessons to children and teenagers, refurbish a community center, and spend time with the kids at a children’s home. Teaching swimming lessons was one of the most rewarding experiences to me, and knowing that I was impacting people in such a positive way felt so good. But even more important was the opportunity for us to see the kids as spiritual, loved, and cared for by their Father-Mother God, and to know that, because of who they truly were as God’s children, they were capable of great things. Seeing their true God-given identity and potential helped me grow spiritually, too. 

One afternoon, we had just taught two groups of kids in the morning. After they left, a friend and I wanted to swim out to a buoy. The buoy marked the end of the designated swimming area for the beach, and our group had been cleared to swim out to it. Our class leaders, along with our host in Grenada, had encouraged us to try to swim to it before we left. (A lifeguard was there because this was at a popular beach in front of the local dive and beach rental shops.) I have never really liked swimming out into the sea very far, so this was a stretch for me.                

The waves were pushing us away from the buoy, and, while I was in the water, I asked my friend for some prayerful support. He shared with me that we expressed God’s spiritual strength and I didn’t have to be afraid. The purpose of the entire trip was to glorify God. 

I remembered Hymn 460 from the Christian Science Hymnal Supplement, “Siyahamba.” The refrain goes “We are walking in the light of God,” and in my mind, I changed “walking” to “swimming,” and applied the idea that even when I was swimming, I was in the light of God. 

An idea that someone else had shared with me earlier came to me, and it was the fact that God had fully supplied me with all my abilities. So I had the tools to do what I was doing. God is omnipotent, all around me, and God always gives us everything we could possibly need to express Him. 

I then turned over in the water and started to backstroke to the buoy. As soon as I did that, I felt a calmness and peace.

The purpose of the entire trip was to glorify God.

My friend encouraged me to expand my comfort zone and to continue striving for the buoy, even though he knew I wanted to go back to shore. He reminded me of something on page 288 of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “Science reveals the glorious possibilities of immortal man, forever unlimited by the mortal senses.” That helped me know that whatever I felt was hindering me from swimming to the buoy was completely abolished by the understanding of my spiritual, God-given, limitless abilities. I realized that I was governed by Life, Love, and Mind. 

While I was still backstroking to the buoy, the verse from the Bible, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10), came to thought. I immediately felt at one with God and at ease in the ocean. I made it to the buoy safely, and then swam back to shore without any problems. 

I know that I am forever surrounded by Love, no matter where I go.

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