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Swimming lesson

Behind this door was his study group. They had met here every Thursday for a dozen years or more. He’d lost track.

In the beginning he kept a log of every time he went, as a reminder, as a memento. The memory of the past inspired the future. It was a long drive in the morning before work but his schedule allowed for it. Any other usual schedule and he wouldn’t have been able to. He didn’t have enough vacation time to ask off two hours every week, and he didn’t want to call attention to his actions.

Interesting how his culture loudly proclaimed its vices but downplayed its virtues. Smoking, sex, sloth, were publicly praised but sanctity was private. How could people choose the narrow path they didn’t know about it? Misery had to love company, because being righteous was a lonely path.

The door was unassuming, unmarked. If you knew where to look you could find it. The class was mentioned on the website, but far down, nearly hidden. Like the door, you would never happen across it unless you were meant to, or you were told by a member.

Very few people were told. Not for a lack of need. No, many people were drowning in the sea of addiction, but most were not willing to learn to swim. Most who admitted they were sinking expected a rescue – a boat, a life-raft. The only true rescue was to stay in the water and learn how to swim – not against the waves but with them.

The group knew how to swim – each and every one of them. Some simply flipped over and let the waves carry them where they may. Some used the energy to work their body and get stronger. Relax or resist – the goal was the same. Don’t drown. Quit fighting.

They sat in a circle and swam in the sea of time, with scripture as their anchor, yet also their sail. It buoyed them up yet also kept them stable. It was the only thing keeping them alive in the world gone mad with dis-ease.

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