Rowing is unique. As I rode by the Thames yesterday morning the sun was bright, stilling the win into a quiet breeze. The sandy path crunched beneath my tires and I just cruised in over-drive. The scene was idyllic, in every way except for my athletic abilities which reflect my age and then some!
There were three scenes, one by one on a short stretch of river that caused me pause. First a father and son were rowing in a coxless pair. The father was in the bow and set both the pace and form. The son appeared to be gaining expertise with every stroke but he was still the student. Your could feel the intense concentration and as I looked at the four puddles creating ripples in the river past I could easily tell that the study and relationship was paying dividends.
Next on the scene was a young boy out for one of his first sculling adventures. Sitting alone in the boat he was trying to come to grips with the fact that he had to contend with two oars while executing smooth, precise balance and execution. So far he appeared to be failing but it was, from the puddles again, getting better!
The sounds of the river dictated the scene. There were no crowds to cheer anyone on. The noise of society was muted and without impact. Save the observant the moments were quickly slipping away in life, gently flowing downstream into yesterday.
I thought the spell might be broken when I came on a scull with a solitary woman. She was a quiet master in her own right. She was pulling away from me so the puddles came first. Perfectly formed, evenly spaced, they told their story with eloquence and reserve. She labored effortlessly as I felt myself instantly jealous. She labored on without notice.
Where was and is the glory?
“They asked, ‘Who gave you the order to take it up and start walking?’ But the healed man didn't know, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd.” (John 5.12, 13)