Lifeguarding is lifeguarding. If you are in shape and know the procedures and maneuvers, you should be able to guard anywhere to protect others.
But let’s take a look at the story of two lifeguards.
One lifeguard gets up early to head to work. She arrives. As the pool opens she finds herself up in the guard stand. She wipes her sleepy eyes and wonders how she got there. The morning had become so routined that she forgot how she got there and the preparations she went through to get the pool ready for visitors.
She looks around as the sun begins to glare over the trees surrounding the pool. Pulling on her shades she hears the familiar morning music playing in the background and settles into a comfortable stance on the guard stand.
She knows the kids. She even knows the parents by name. She knows they can swim so the pressure to be keenly aware in every moment has ceased. She fights the urge to dose off as the sun begins to warm the morning air. The job in the moment is beginning to seem rather boring.
But she had heard there’s beauty in the familiar. Or is there?
She gets up early to head to work. She had gotten a call that she was needed at a new location that morning. She map-quests for direction. Noticing the pool is in a different area of town, she wonders what the day will bring.
Unsure of where to park or how to enter the pool house when arriving, she is aware of her surroundings. Awake.
The people are different. The culture is different. The pool lay-out is different. Everything is different!
Joining the other guards there, she quickly learns where the equipment is. She tries to remember it all. As the pool prepares to open, she finds herself on Guard Stand 3.
She looks around. She doesn’t know a soul. Almost feels disoriented, however there is a sameness — the job of lifeguarding.
She knows she has to pay careful attention. Who can swim? Who can’t? She doesn’t know.
She sits up straight. She keeps her eyes on each swimmer and assesses their ability. The newness is exhilarating. It is easy to focus.
And at moments she even finds herself tense with curiosity.
Which kind of guard are you?
Are you the guard who is going about your life in a routined and rote day-to-day way? Every day seems the same. So the same that you often wonder how you got to where you are.
Your Light only shines in lighted-places. You know everyone around you — who believes and who doesn’t. And mostly they all believe.
Does your Light seem diminished and dimming because it only shines in already lit places?
Are you fighting the boredom of your journey and longing for something to wake you up to more?
You often wake up feeling disoriented. It seems you are continually asking, where am I going?
You seek the Lord and others for directions and blindly follow to unknown places. Places that sometimes you aren’t sure you should be. Dark places. Places that race with different culture and rules.
You know the Light within you is aching to shine forth. But the area seems so dark. You wonder what difference your little Light is making and know only the true Rescuer can make a difference here.
You stay tense in the moment, feeling like you need to see who’s coming from behind. But your Light aches to be there. It longs to shine in the dark.
Your light is tired of shining in already lit places. Your soul awakens and you raise up this bravery inside that says, my Light is meant to shine in these dark places.
There’s a dramatic difference between the two.
I’ve lived as both of these guards. I’m lived the boring life in that it seemed every moment was so scripted and same. Everyone longed to be the same.
I’ve longed to make a difference, but felt so boxed in and even frustrated with what God had called me to do. It was rote and routined that the sleepy steps I took almost lured me to sleep.
But then I awakened to a new day and a new guard stand. Yes, it’s scary to go in to unfamiliar territory. But that is what we are called to do.
Wake up. Go.
It’s time to get off our comfortable guard stands and embrace a world that can wake us up from the mundane! [can I get a tweet?]
It’s time to let our Lights shine forth in the dark places so that they can experience the Light.
QUESTION: Which kind of guard are you?
After wrestling with the word rescue for months, I decided to bring this word to life. I’ll expose the truths stirring in my soul regarding this daring, venturesome, and fearless word. Oh how I’d love your input too!