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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Lifeguard (11/09/06)

TITLE: Survival Training 101 – Drown, Float or Faith?
By Aaron Traver


In the Navy, I have had the pleasure of passing a few swimming tests in my life. In addition, I’ve learned those critical skills that can save my life in the water. Many years removed, what sticks out vividly about this training is that staying afloat was victory! Forget swimming- there was almost always no chance of swimming far enough to reach safety. Tread water; dead-man’s float (where you take a breathe and then conserve energy by folding your legs up under you and “float” back-up in the water); or, pull your pants off, tie the legs, and do an up-and-over-the-head splashing motion ending with the pants in the water with trapped air to stay afloat! Whatever it took! In the end, the entire goal was to stay afloat until rescue. Sometimes, I live life the same way I did survival swimming- I just try to survive. At home, at work, at church, and at school- the pace becomes mind-bendingly exhausting from time-to-time and eventually survival becomes a goal. Forget swimming! I’ve tried swimming in so many different directions trying to find a better way that I’ve realized that it does more harm than good.

However, God’s plan for us is so completely opposed to this way of treading and swimming through our busy lives. God’s plan is for us to be quiet and accept his easy burden while we tread on water in the place where we have been plunged into the waves. He warns, “do not do a lot of good things, swimming to and fro.” He invites, “do one GREAT thing- live for Me.” Instead of focusing on our schedules, our gain, and our own survival, God commands us to draw near to Him; to reach out to those drowning in the water beside us and touch their lives; and finally, to point up.

You see up is where a Lifeguard sits atop a majestic chair with a loving desire and absolute power to extend an arm of invitation. He’s been in our water, and he has risen above the waves of this life. He wants us to take hold of Him, rise from the waves, and walk upon the surface of this world, leaving behind the cares of survival for the cares of the Spirit. Yet, the waves crash around us and the water is cold and numbing. And we, so many of the faithful, are prevented from stepping up with the faith demanded to walk.

Where are you today? Are you drowning in the waves? Do you trust his outstretched hand for your daily provision, walking on the surface? Do you trust His hand and His voice? He says, “Come to me.” And yet, we might dare to just float or swim away.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 11/16/06
The phrase that really struck me was "He's been in our water..." Lots of truth in those 5 little words.
James Clem 11/17/06
Excellent Message! Wrap a verse around this and it becomes a top-notch Devotional.
Cheri Hardaway 11/18/06
I love this line: "God’s plan is for us to be quiet and accept his easy burden while we tread on water in the place where we have been plunged into the waves." So many times we are trying to survive or even swim in someone else's water, through someone else's waves. He has a specific plan for each life, and He has put us exactly where He wants us, with the life preserver of the Holy Spirit to guide us through. This is a wonderful application of Truth, and I see a great devotional in it. Thanks, Cheri