When I was in High School I participated in the swim team. It was something I enjoyed very much. Our team was never that good, but I really enjoyed the friends I made and the unity we had as a team. I remember playing water polo against our rival High School. I remember Frisbee golfing for practice. I remember the team spaghetti dinners, and staying up late playing Halo with the team. There were many things which made swimming enjoyable, not necessarily the going back and forth in a pool (really fun . . .), but the friends I made and camaraderie we had is what mattered most.
I do however remember one experience in which I found myself regretting the effort or lack thereof that I put into acquiring the skills of an expert swimmer, such as the heart and dedication to endure through the challenges. Granted, I do not think any amount of preparation would have really made me feel ready for the events which did transpire.
I remember it was quite a while ago. You might remember reading about it here, or here. It was an interesting set of events to say the least. I remember being quite confused myself. I remember much of this all seemed to start from one person, Lamech’s son. I think it is safe to say everyone thought he was just a grumpy man. He talked constantly about the need to stop doing fun things. He told us the things we were doing would not make us happy. He talked about how we needed to make certain choices to find lasting joy. I did not entirely understand everything he said. He told us to stay away from things which were addicting; we needed to treat others with love and respect. We needed to try and help and serve others without expecting a reward. He told us how when we are addicted to something it takes control over us, and we have to bend our lives around whatever it is we are addicted to. But, as I see it, if something is so good we can’t get enough of it . . . how could it be bad? Sometimes we just want things so bad, how could it make any sense to not give in and take what we want? Surely, if there is a God, He would want to help us immediately satisfy any hunger, passion, or desire we have.
As you can probably imagine, pretty much everyone ignored him. I don’t think it helped his image any when he started building a boat. Something about how a loving God was going to destroy us all with a flood?? Yes, I did not quite understand it either. He told us as God loves us He was not going to let us continue in those things which made us unhappy, He wanted to give His children an opportunity to come to an earth where they could be taught those things which help them find the most joy. I am not sure of all the reasons . . . but it happened. Yes, the crazy man was right! I think his name was Noah. It rained, and it rained, and it continued to rain. We started swimming; at first it was easy, but it was not long to for me to find how just ill prepared I was . . .
Hmm . . . that might have just been a bad dream. But I do know as we follow the prophets here on the earth today we can find those things which matter most to us. Whether it be protection from a flood or a better relationship with our families, friends, or really anyone we meet. Not everyone on our team was a member of our church, but that didn’t make a difference. I feel our team lived by many of the principles we read in the scriptures. We had an amazing sense of unity. We had a small team, we were careful to look out for each other. In some ways I think the gospel of Jesus Christ can be simplified like that. It is simply putting other people above ourselves and looking out for them.