Things Lifeguarding Taught Me Pt. 3: Jump

Don’t jump.

Those are the two thoughts that cross my mind as I lifeguard and I make the judgment call as to whether the swimmer is in need of help. I’m a saver. I guard and save lives; it’s what I do.

In a split second I have to discern whether I jump into the water and get them to safety, or if they’re fine and are not in need of my assistance.

Last summer I was blessed with always making the right call. Most of this summer I have as well.

Until. I jumped.
I jumped and my help wasn’t needed.

I thought a young boy was struggling after jumping in, and so into the deep end I went.
And then something unexpected happened – he started swimming.

When I resurfaced, he was swimming away with a look on his face that seemed to shout ‘seriously?!’ and in that moment I felt so silly, and so small.
My mind flooded with thoughts:
He was struggling.
I thought he was, at least.

He needed my help.
Well, he looked like he needed it.

He couldn’t swim, though.
Apparently he could.

I’ve never jumped in unnecessarily.
Doesn’t mean I should have assumed it couldn’t happen.

Over the next several days I replayed the scenario in my head.
I had looked for everything I was supposed to.
I saw the signs.
I followed my intuition.
I used what I had been trained with.
I should have been right.

But I wasn’t.
I was wrong.

However, in the end, it was okay.
He was safe. I was safe. The day carried on.

It is the same with our Christian walk.

When we try to take control over our lives, there is so much room for error.
Even my best discernment can be incorrect, because I live in a fallen world.
I can do everything the way I’ve been taught, but if I do it without Christ, it is for nothing.

When I begin to believe that my thoughts and ways are higher than Christ, I jump when it is unnecessary. Thankfully though, Christ, in the end prevails.

The good thing about this realization is where Christ comes in.

He never jumps when it isn’t necessary.
He is always present and watchful.
His timing is perfect.
His judgement is flawless.
He is more than a saver, He’s a Savior.


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