Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Weather Woes

The Chicot Challenge always challenges me in several ways. The training is something I enjoy but after a full buildup of the kind of preparation it takes to swim all day, to borrow a phrase from BB King, "The trill is gone." Not only that, but the planning, crew building, T-shirt design, ordering, fundraising, and endless social media updates tend to steal time and grind me down. I have a job. I have a wife. I have cats even that miss me and I them. I am not complaining, mind you, just explaining.

The part that gets me most, however, is having weather issues. Every year starting fourteen days out, I am watching weather forecasts like a bankrupt stock trader following the S&P 500. I think, pray, watch, and try to relax because why fret over what you can't change? Nevertheless I often fall prey to fretting. Lord forgive; Lord help.

Last year, with great reluctance I postponed the swim one week due to consistent predictions of 85% chance of thunderstorms. It didn't rain in Greenwood that day and according to the evening news out of Greenville, it didn't rain over there either. It did, however, rain the next week when we pulled off the swim on a 30% forecast. I enjoyed the rain. We had no lightening, and swimming in the rain is sort of like God showering you with honey but you don't get sticky. I know. That's a poor metaphor but that's as good as I can do right now. But get the takeaway. Swimming in the rain is a glorious experience for any open water stroker. The problem is we get little precipitation around here with an accompaniment of lightning bolts.

For the last three day, the forecast for June 3 has vacillated between 50 and 80% chance of rain. Right now it sits at 60. My gut says go for it. I don't know what I'm going to do, but I have to make a decision within 36 hours. Part of me wants to trust God and go for it. Part of me leans towards exercising restraint and thinking of the crew's safety. 

I am praying a lot. Last year God used the postponement to rebuild the crew and show me that His way is better than mine. What is He trying to show me now? Why do I have to go through with this? Maybe I won't know the answer to these questions until a week or two after the swim.


Praise the Lord anyway. Thank you for problems, Lord Jesus and help me to lean on you:

     Lean not unto thine own understanding.
     In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths. 
     (Proverbs 3:5-6)