The Perfect Stroke

I am in a group swim class together with four awesome women and our most patient swim instructor. I’m a complete beginner. I know, how do you get to be fifty something and not know how to swim? Last night as I took my first few fledgling strokes unassisted (OK, maybe it was only two strokes), I felt a bit like a failure because I couldn’t just take to it like some of the other women. But they would not let me go there, reminding me of how far I had come in just four weeks and cheering me on for the strokes I did manage. So, as I walked out of the YMCA, I wondered how often people decide against a life of faith because they think they have to measure up to some ideal Christ follower? I’m saddened to think that there are many out there who are too put off or scared to find out about Jesus because somehow, we in the church may have made it all look perfect. But Christ followers aren’t perfect. The only ideal we have is Jesus Christ. We’re all learning to swim in the pool of faith together. Some of us may swim faster or farther than others, but every one of us has more to learn. So, don’t let appearances fool you. No one’s perfect, we’re all just trying to swim a few more strokes today than we did yesterday.

About Rev Uch

I'm a United Methodist pastor serving Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Bradenton, Florida. My husband and I have been here since July 2019. We are thrilled to learn more about Bradenton. Stop by our website at for more information about me and the church.
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2 Responses to The Perfect Stroke

  1. Amber says:

    The church perpetuates that perfect expectation and image by being critical and judgmental of those in their midst who are different less perfect than them. Think about it there is not much diversity in churches as they would like to think there is. Everyone for the most part fits into a certain majority mold be it race ethnicity economic status etc. By doing this we limit our faiths originally intended universality. Sadly not all are willing to swim with those weaker or less experienced which does fulfill Jesus’ teaching about peoples love growing cold and betraying each other. So the truly faithful few (the remnant) must just keep swimming upstream against the current.


    • Pastor Kim says:

      I’m not sure it’s only the church that gives that impression. Look at the media, at schools, at businesses. I think it may be a human thing that if everything cannot be perfect then we have to at least make sure it looks perfect. That then feeds into the unwillingness to be with those different from ourselves because of concern of what others might think or what it does to the image if we are willing to struggle along with someone outside our usual circle of friends and acquaintances. Last week while discussing the Rule of St. Benedict, chapter 7 on humility, a very pointed question was asked, “What are you unwilling to do for Christ?” I think our answers reveal much about our unspoken boundaries.


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