and it was a blinking long way, I’m not doing that again for while!
I don’t mean I swam until I had a revelation (and jumped out the pool shrieking ‘Eureka’) I mean I swam to Revelation…from Genesis. From the first book of the Bible to the final one – 66 lengths. Any further and I’d have been in the Apocrypha – uncharted waters!
That’s a long way: 1.65 km, just over 1 mile. It took 40 minutes and I had to speed swim through 1,2 and 3 John because I didn’t think I’d make it before the end of the session.
So why not just count?
Well, when you are as numerically challenged as I am it’s actually easier to recite the books of the Bible, 1 per length, than it is to go ‘One, two, three’ in your head.
The ‘One,two three’ plan is just so fantastically dull, I always wander off in my head and lose count. So now what I do is say the book I’m on at the start of each length and then tell myself everything I know about that book all the way to the end of the pool. For some books I have a job fitting in everything I can remember! But then I get to Obadiah and all I can think is ‘Oh, Oh, Obadiah, what’s that all about?’ and I know nothing about Nahum so I just swim along thinking ‘Nahum, Nahum, know nothing about Nahum’! I really must look those two up.
I do get some funny looks from fellow swimmers as I pop up at the end of the pool, mutter ‘Malachi’ and head off again.
But it’s all good fun. Of course it does help to know the books of the Bible off by heart otherwise your contents page would get a bit soggy. This summer I have challenged our congregation to learn all 66 book names by heart. My vicar’s wife told me I wasn’t allowed to challenge people to do something I hadn’t done. So, being a very obedient curate (and knowing that the vicar’s wife opinion is the one that matters!) I have duly committed them to memory. I confess that having learnt them about 10 years ago, I only had to brush up on the minor prophets.
So will anyone else have learnt them? I don’t know. They’ve got till Sept 4th and I’ve got till then to come up with an idea for a worthy prize for those who have taken the challenge. Maybe they’d like a free swim?
Then again, ‘cake’ is always so motivating… I must just go and eat one now.