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IMG_2047It has been months since I was able to move into the swimming pool without discomfort.  Getting old is no fun.  Doing it gracefully is a daily challenge.

Gingerly I held on to the hand rail and descended into the warm waters of our club lap pool.  Of course in my mind I was bound and determined to look “cool” while doing it.  I stubbornly refused to surrender to any image of “old man coming in!”

Yet, I could only cover so much.  Turning my head too much wrenched my back.  Twisting my hips too much nearly paralyzed me with pain.

OK, I’ll admit it!  I am turning into an OLDer man.  It is worth fighting to remain young in mind and give the appearance of youthful-like mobility and foster the illusion as long as possible.  Age is mostly a mental state, right?  I do not think that last composition of words came out right.

Water buoyancy is a friend to our aching bodies.  God gave us water to show us how gravity can be modulated for a brief moment.  Lifting the weight momentarily relieves the pain.

Deftly I set myself for my first voyage since the diagnosis of four herniated disks.  “Slowly” was my operative term.  Pushing off the wall gently, my gliding moves propelled me through the water.

Just like riding a bike, you never forget how to swim.  The strokes were pain free.  While it was tempting to push my rhythm, experience and terror kept the cadence deliberate and intentionally relaxed.

Lap after lap my mind was beginning to sense progress.  Treatment for my pain-riddled body had brought me back to functionality.  Now, I could fill my lungs with air, grow back some stamina and feel invigorated again.

Still I would go easy.  After several more trips to the pool I would still move deliberately and slowly.  Each time I added more laps.  Finally, I upped my time in the waters of recuperation and knocked off 48 laps.

I did that much just because getting out of the pool is so hard.  After a good swim I use the hand rail to pull me out of the waters and feel the stinging reminder of a back that can no longer to do spinning Karate kicks or double front Kung Fu snap kicks or oblique wrestling leg sweeps.

In my early youthful days I promised myself that I would not whine about aches and pains when I inevitably grew older.  So, the sounds of shrieking that you might be hearing are simply the exhaling of breath practicing a newly discovered soprano vocal range.

photo credit: brucefong photography

Joshua 11

It is worth noting that this remarkable general, Joshua, was hand picked by Moses. Israel’s greatest leader mentored Joshua. Watching how well Joshua assumes his role, it seems clear that Moses saw great potential in this young man. What did Moses see in him?

Moses very likely saw in Joshua a teachable and moldable spirit. The great leader of Israel passed on valuable lessons and Joshua absorbed them. There was a humble spirit in Joshua that Moses saw, a life that soaked up all of the advice that Moses would give, Joshua paid attention.

Joshua also displayed a lifestyle that was always looking for solutions, not a chance to whine about a problem. When he could Joshua would adapt and improvise. People sought him out to follow him. Joshua was a natural leader.

When the pressure increased, Joshua seemed to get stronger. After success came his way, he deflected the glory to God. People knew him as one who would wear well under difficult circumstances.

Leaders looking to train the next generation of leaders could pick up key features by observing this leadership succession between Moses and Joshua. So much of the mentoring was about qualities of responsible spiritual living. Watch the lives of others and pass on the mantle of leadership to them.

More later…