Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Life Preserver

The Life Preserver
Carol Condon

There are common sights, sounds, and scents that we associate with a vacation scheduled near water. Laughter, squeals of delight, and “Marco Polo” shouted across the water are mingled with the scents of a variety of tanning lotions. Sunglasses have been put on and a rainbow of color is displayed on rafts, surfboards, and life preservers as they decorate the pools and beach areas.

One of my memorable vacations was when Miquel and Jared were only 6 and 4 years old. We had just arrived at the hotel, and the pool was the #1 agenda for them. We were heading to dinner but the kids had begged to jump in just once. We couldn’t resist even though this “one jump” was going to cost about an hour of clean up time. We grabbed the bright orange arm floaties and headed to the pool area.  Once we reached the shallow end we secured their life preservers and they jumped in.

As Jared was pulling himself out of the water this cute, little girl walked up and in her southern little drawl said, “Hi. My name is Katie. I am four years old and I don’t need to wear floaties.” and she dove in.  Jared was barely off the ladder when he began yanking off his bright little arm floaties.  I was totally being a Mom and went into panic mode.  He jumped in before I could grab him and quickly popped back up just a kicking and coughing. We had equipped him with a life preserver, because at the time he was not properly trained for anything deeper than bath water.

As parents we would not dream of turning our children loose onto a boat or into a pool without a proper life preserver on. We fear for their safety, and until they have been through appropriate training their life preservers stay on with a “no exception” rule.

Are we as careful about living in the world as we are with swimming in the pool? What about that friend from work, your neighbor, the mom you car-pool with, your bus driver, your teacher, your classmates and the guy at the gym? Are you prepared to put their life preserver on? How will they survive without it?

The world has not been tried and tested and given a rating “for ages 12 and up”. There is required training that must take place. As I began to think of the unsafe conditions of a body of water to the non-swimmer, I began to consider the unsafe conditions of the world to the many people that are living day by day without Him. My mind began to see people of all ages and in all walks of life going about their daily responsibilities with a life preserver on decorated with Scriptures, sermons, and daily devotions, along with fasting and prayer times. We must stay in training. We must keep our “life preservers” on with a “no exception” rule. May God help us if we ever get to a place in life where we feel the training is over and declare, “Hi. My name is _______.  I am ____ years old, and I don’t need to wear floaties.”

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”
Romans 15:4 NIV