Thursday, September 18, 2008


There were really only two kind of days of the week I did not like lifeguarding this summer. The first was clearly the last shift. The last shift of the week meant cleaning the bath/changing rooms. It wasn't even so much of cleaning than it was keeping others on task so you didn't end up doing it all yourself. The second type of day was the first day of the camp session. While the first day had it's positive aspects - excited kids, and refreshed counselors - it also meant it was the day that I was most likely going to have to jump in.
You see kids (especially younger ones), generally get overly excited. Mixing over excitement and water that goes above their head is rarely yields good results. More often than not this equation equals what I, and the rest of the lifeguards this summer, referred to as "bobbers." Bobbers are kids that find themselves in water too deep to stand in (either from accidentally drifting, or jumping into deeper water). Once this occurs bobbers will bounce up and down trying to stay afloat, or in some cases not even recognize that they are in any sort of danger. At that time, with a mild sense of frustration yet overwhelmed by compassion and adrenaline, I or a fellow lifeguard, would have to jump in and get the kid to safety. Once at the side of the pool, our job was to make sure the child was ok, and send them on their merry way. More often than not we would point out a visual marker for the kid to stay on the other side of when they were playing in the pool. Usually it was the bathroom door or the ladder. A few more times than I'd hoped, I found myself having to tell or pull the same child into shallow water more than once.

Upon coming back home to look for a job, I can't help but feel a little more compassion for the child I had to pull out of deep water more than once. After all, isn't that what God does for us when we jump into things too soon, or make decisions based on the wrong premise? Or just blatantly ignore his direction.

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