Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

21 January 2010

Dishonesty at the Pool

I've spent each morning for the last two weeks watching children doing their swimming lessons in what is a great Western Australian tradition - Vac Swim - two weeks of lessons for a $1 a day during the summer holidays. Vac Swim has been around for seventy one years now.

Sitting on the sidelines watching the boys have their lessons brought back memories of the Vac Swim lessons I took as a child. The terror of learning to dive and having to duck dive for the teacher's whistle in the deep end of the big pool.  The joy of being allowed to buy a packet of potato chips from the vending machine after the last lesson. Coming home with another certificate having passed the next stage. Green hair and red, stinging eyes from the chlorine.

And today, as one of the boys was tested to see if he will pass his current stage, I remembered how I fudged my way through not one but two swimming tests.  The first was in the very early stages.  We were required to swim freestyle across the width of the pool - eight lanes in all.  I could do the arms.  I could do the kicking.  I could turn my head to the side every second stroke to facilitate breathing.  But I just couldn't manage to take a breath!  And so when being tested, I took in a huge lungful of air and swam as fast as I could to the other side.  It all looked OK and I made it to the other side, lungs bursting. 

I passed.  (Without passing out!!)

Much later down the track when I doing life saving lessons, one of the things required of us was to demonstrate resuscitation.  Every time we practised this we did it for two minutes, pretending to resuscitate a partner, who would count how many cycles we went through.  One breath every five seconds...two minutes...twenty four breaths.  Text book.  When it came to the test, my partner counting my cycles, I got to twenty four and then thirty six.  I thought I must be going way too fast...nerves during the exam!  And so I whispered to my partner that she should say, when asked at the end of the exercise, that I had done twenty four cycles.  And then I revised that to thirty when time seemed to drag on. 

Examiner:  How many cycles did Meredith do?
Partner:  Thirty.
Examiner to Meredith: That seems very slow.  Show me what you were doing.
Meredith demonstrates perfectly timed cycles every five seconds.
Examiner: You must have been going a bit slowly or maybe your partner didn't count correctly.  I did let the exercise go on for a few minutes.  (Meredith did not correct this situation and defend her partner who, at the age of twelve or there abouts, could of course count to forty eight.)  But you seem to be doing just fine now.

And I passed.

So naughty!!

"Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or quantity.  Use honest scales and honest weights, an honest ephah and an honest hin."  Leviticus 19:35,36a 

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