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Lincoln Herald | Lincolnton, NC

home : religion : religion October 23, 2020

8/9/2020 12:11:00 AM
Thank God For The YMCA
Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is  10% what happens to you and  90% how you react to it.'

Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is 
10% what happens to you and 
90% how you react to it.'

Rev. Susan Smith
Guest Columnist

Psalm 118:24 This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

I am so tired of the COVID 19 pandemic and its restrictions! In the Exodus ministry where I serve in Hickory I am known as “the COVID 19 police” because I am the primary enforcer of all the new rules. Words like “Where is your mask? Please pull your mask up. You guys are not six feet apart! Hey – back up and give me six feet!” are my mantra, but so far no one in our supportive housing program or church has been infected. That is a real blessing! Even so, I’m sick of it all and can’t wait for it to be over.

In all this, God has provided a bright spot in my life at the YMCA in Hickory where you can swim outdoors with a reservation to keep the numbers low at the pool. The YMCA has always been a big part of my life and we are especially blessed in Lincolnton to have our own branch which is a very special part of our community. We lost a faithful member of the Lincoln Co. YMCA Christian Emphasis Committee this week with the untimely passing of Bishop Franklin Lowery. His energy and drive in helping coordinate local YMCA community events will be truly missed. Every community is a better place to live because of the work of their local YMCA that offer Christ-like family friendly activities that are good for us. You can’t go wrong with the YMCA!

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After a long day of pandemic stress, I look forward to swimming laps in the outdoor pool at the YMCA. I go at 7 p.m. when the sun is going down, the air is fresh, the sky is blue, the birds are singing, and a gentle breeze is blowing the fragrance of the flowers and trees my way. It is so good to be outdoors and feel safe. I love to take my time and follow the stripe on the bottom of the pool that keeps me going in a straight line in my lane. It is so relaxing as I meditate on the goodness of God and the beauty of His creation. Nature is open during this pandemic and can minister to our spirits that long to be free.

As the sun sparkles on the water and the children nearby play “Marco - Polo!”, I am transported back in time to my younger years when I would spend hours in the pool with my friends. “Marco! Polo!” “Marco! Polo!” Hearing the glee in the children’s voices brings me so much joy and reminds me that all Is not lost. Life goes on. Children are still having summer fun at the YMCA like I did. Although I am older now, I still feel young at heart and I hope I always will.

I encourage you to take advantage of your local YMCA now and at all times. The Lincoln County YMCA is temporarily closed indoors but it has many great outdoor or online fitness classes that can improve your quality of life even in this pandemic. Other programs are also available through the Lincoln Co. YMCA as part of the larger YMCA of Greater Charlotte. For more information, please call (704) 716-4500 or go to

Rev. Smith is the Associate Pastor of Exodus Missionary Outreach Church and can be reached at 828-962-8196,, or P.O. Box 3311, Hickory, NC 28603.

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