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Strapped In…


The water lapped against Deanna’s feet as Ella’s hung happily 3 feet above.  My wife had my 3 month old strapped into one of those Baby Bjorn kid backpacks—or frontpacks in this case.  She stood at the entrance to the wave pool at an indoor waterpark watching us older kids (yes, I mean us) frolic in the waves.  It was a great chance to unwind after the busy Christmas extravaganza.  And all was going well until a lifeguard came to my wife to enforce the rules.  My little Ella had to have a life jacket on.  Now, I’m all for water safety—I was a life guard for a short while, and my wife protected pools and beaches for nearly 10 years.  But I’m also for common sense.  My daughter was strapped to my wife—locked in.  What good would an infant life jacket do if my wife fell into the water?  Would it provide enough buoyancy to keep Deanna’s and Ella’s heads above the water?  And, in fact, by holding the life jacket in place (the only way possible to follow the rule) my wife less safe.  She now had one less hand free and her vision towards her feet was even more impaired.  But, we are good rule followers, and so my wife did as she was told.  Later, however, when she raised her questions to the head lifeguard, he didn’t have an answer for her either—and he ultimately offered her a job.

I understand the responsibility of the waterpark staff.  I certainly understand the importance of erring on the side of caution when children and water are in the same room—especially when alcohol is in that same room.  But I also know that my little girl would have chosen to be strapped to her mom every time if given the choice.

Who are you strapped to?  Does this one provide enough buoyancy when the waves of life come crashing?  As I think of my life and as I think about the storms I’ve been through, I can point to several people that I have and will look towards to help me stay afloat.  Who are the people that keep your head above water? Who provides the gentle nudges of wisdom? Who loves you too much to hide the truth that you need to hear?

Of course the hopeful answer is Jesus.  He is our rock, our anchor, our captain, and our strong tower.  But I also think that He manifests His power in the people He places around us.  Make a Thankful list today, and put at the top the people who have been Jesus for you.  And, as we continue forward into this New Year, consider those to whom you can be His hands and His feet.  And then give the glory to the Lord—the one who finds rest in the storms.



2 Comments leave one →
  1. 4January2012 07:48

    Scott, as a sailor I am aware of how Life Saving gear has changed over the years.

    I recall (with no regret for their disappearance) those orange canvas jackets with the webbed straps that went around the waist and between the legs. Then there were the grey ones, somewhat lighter and more trim, but still cumbersome, compared to the high tech ones now that hang around your neck like a shawl and inflate at a moment’s touch.

    I think of what it is like to “Put on Christ” in baptism and then daily as we remember our baptism. Christ surrounds me, permeates my being and supports every aspect of existence. Christ is my life ring, asbestos shell, bullet proof vest as well as my anchor and rock.

    Thanks for your story.. and your image. Peace to you.


  2. 4January2012 19:41

    Great story Scott! So is Deanna going to join forces with the water park staff? Sometimes rules are made to be broken because they are so ill-thought out and impractical. Those are often the hardest ones to get changed as well, don’t confuse things with logic after all! Anyway, here’s hoping that Jesus has one of those front packs and is big enough to carry people like you and me (6 footers) around!

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