Water always wants to continue any movement at the same speed and in the same direction, this is something I have to be really mindful of as an Aqua instructor. I instruct from the pool side, and the class copy from the pool. So if I jog down the poolside, they will follow me in the water and we will all be happy, until I turn around to go back again. That turn is easy for me on land, but water inertia means that turning is difficult for them. The water will resist that change and want to keep going in the same direction, if I don’t manage the change, the water might literally knock some of them off their feet and I might not be invited back again!
As we start steadily moving out of lockdown, I am beginning to realise that I seem to suffer from human inertia, I prefer to continue doing what I’m used to and resist change! I hated going into lockdown, now as lockdown is beginning to ease, I find myself unsettled again. I don’t want to go out and learn how to use all the new systems at the shops, gyms, church, school etc. I don’t like the sound of a ‘new normal’, I prefer ‘normal normal’.
I wonder if there’s a few tips from the Aquafitness world that I (and maybe you?) might find helpful. The acronym Acts.
Inexperienced instructors often forget or underestimate the water’s resistance to change which leaves the class frustrated. Perhaps our first step is to acknowledge any needs we have for consistency and familiarity in times of uncertainty and admit to ourselves and others if we are finding things difficult.
2. Consider the Transition
I manage the problem of water inertia with considered transitions that allow the change to be less problematic. Practically there’s obvious transitional activities we can do: going out to a local shop before hitting Cheshire Oaks! But, spiritually I wonder what we can do to help during this time? Perhaps now is a good time to seek comfort in the permanence of God’s love and care. To read the old, old stories, that still speak to our soul and to seek guidance, strength and wisdom from an eternal, unchanging source.
In Aqua fitness, water inertia isn’t just a problem, it’s also a tool. When we change direction, or speed, the water environment acts as a personal trainer for each participant, the disturbance - when met with hard work, is a great environment to develop muscle stength and growth. As these times continue, I wonder if we will be able to come out of these ‘troubled waters’ stronger. I don’t believe that Covid 19 was ‘sent’ for this purpose (I don’t believe it was ‘sent’ at all) but I think there’s possibly opportunity for personal and community growth.
Without the disruption of the pandemic, I’d have kept doing all the things I was already doing, now this disruption stops my flow and invites me to reconsider my commitments and lifestyle. What are the things that really matter? What do I really want to invest in? What needed ‘letting go’ of anyway? Also, as I do new things that frighten me, maybe I will become braver and more adaptable?
I wonder how this might also be for us collectively, as a church? Perhaps we are developing a stronger understanding of what it means to be the Body of Christ as we find new ways to worship, reach out to each other, serve and care? As our worship has been interrupted, perhaps we are growing some spiritual muscles, learning to find God in all things?
Water always wants to continue any movement at the same speed and in the same direction, I suspect the Spirit of God is not the same. While God’s nature remains never changing, I wonder how the Spirit might be wanting to transform us to be a movement that innovatively reflects the love of Christ during these times? We might want to resist change, but change and discomfort can lead to growth, health and strength.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.’ - Isaiah 43:19
The reflections here are written by members of our congregation.