Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Reflections of a Swim Dad

If you are Facebook friends with me, you probably know that I was in Juneau this past weekend to be with our older son who was swimming in the Alaska Age Group Championships. And you probably were inundated with the pictures and updates I posted about the swim meet.

On one hand, I apologize for filling your news feeds with swimming photos. You've probably unsubscribed from my posts altogether. I don't blame you. But what can I do. I'm a swim dad and proud to be one!

If you did read my posts, you definitely know that I am more proud of our son's accomplishments this weekend. In three days, he swam seven individual events, three of which he qualified for the finals where he finished decently and shaved-off seconds of his personal times. In one prelim qualifier, he even finished first place in his heat while shaving more than 12 seconds off his personal best! He also swam three relay events with his teammates. They likewise finished decently and improved on their times. What dad wouldn't be proud?!

Qualifying for Age Groups was a feat in itself to be proud of. There are certain time goals one has to meet in order to make it into an event. Last year, he only made two events which back then was already a pleasant surprise for us. This year, he qualified for eight individual events and had to pick because the maximum he could swim was seven. Again, what mom or dad wouldn't be proud?!

The meet was three days and started on Friday, which meant I wasn't in church on Sunday. It's the first time in seven years that I wasn't in church on Transfiguration Sunday! And it's OK. I said I wasn't in church. I didn't say I wasn't worshiping.

Being at the pool, in the bleachers, cheering for our son along with moms and dads from our team and other parents from other teams cheering for their children gave me a whole new perspective on transfiguration!

The gospels tell us that as Jesus was transfigured, a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." These were the same words Jesus heard at his baptism when he was about to begin his ministry. These were words he lived by, words that defined who he was and whose he was. These words gave him encouragement. And now, as he was about to embark on the final chapter of his earthly ministry, these words gave him strength to carry on.

"This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." Words of a proud parent talking about his son. Words I believe every parent in that swim meet had in their hearts and minds as they watched and cheered for their children. This is my beloved son. This is my beloved daughter. I am proud of him! I am proud of her!

In a short period of time, my wife and I have watched the transformation of our older son from a non-swimmer to a competitive athlete! But we know that the transformation isn't complete. There are more things to learn, strokes to refine, flip-turns to work on and dives to perfect. And we will continue to be there for him and his brother, not just in their sports endeavors. They are our beloved sons in whom we are well pleased and definitely proud of. And we will make sure we tell them this at every opportunity we can. I think the transformation happens when they know and live into this truth.

God loves each one of us into transformation and calls us to do likewise. This was my biggest reflection as a swim dad this Transfiguration Sunday.

Your fellow disciple,

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