Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Lifeguard (11/09/06)
TITLE: Life Is a Beach
By Peggy Bennitt
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The word prompt said, “Lifeguard,” and I thought to myself, how trite…to think of Jesus as my Lifeguard. But as I continued to let it tease my brain, the thoughts began to take on a more interesting shape and substance.
I can picture Jesus as a watchful, responsible, caring Being perched high on a stand watching the beach with all these people surrounding Him. We are those people and we are intent on having fun, right? Right? We tote all our stuff as close to the water as we can. We haul coolers full of drinking water, sodas, and snacks. We drag towels, a blanket, sunscreen, hats, music, and all the “essentials” across the burning sand and plop down on a small patch of fabric to relax. We are so intent on the “me” in it all that we don’t really notice the sea of humanity around us. We close our eyes and settle in. The heat of the sun, the fading cries of the seagulls, the enfolding warmth of the sand, the lull of the waves lapping against the shore…and we feel our cares slip away as we drift into that comfortable place, hovering somewhere between sleep and wakefulness. We are mesmerized by our surroundings. Captured by the warmth of this place and time, we relax and feel at peace.
We can all be sucked into the false security of this warm and comfortable beach. Some will get restless and get up and search for shells, or walk the shoreline, dashing in and out of the waves, enjoying the refreshing spray of the surf. Some will mingle with those around them and share the experience of a beautiful summer day. Embracing the relaxing ambience, some will make it their seasonal lifestyle and become true beachcombers. Some of us become so attached to, so enamored of this sun-kissed environment, that we become beach bums. We become immune to the dangers that surround us, the danger of the very beach and water that we are here to enjoy.
But Jesus carefully watches. The Life Guard sees one of us swim out past the safety ropes, headed for open water. Out of the corner of His eye, He catches sight of another headed for the stretch of water known for its undertow, where sands shift out from under feet without warning. Another one is building a huge and glorious sand castle…right at the edge of the lapping waves. Jesus sees the stealthy approach of the tide. He knows of the impending disaster. He understands that the child and the castle can be toppled and sucked out into deeper, more treacherous waters. He understands the peril of the tide and the undertow. He knows the danger of this beach.
From His perch in the Life stand, Jesus can see the risks that surround us. Jesus, the Life Guard can’t keep us all huddled around His stand. How will we be able to experience the joys of freedom, or find the courage to handle new experiences…even dangers…or have the thrill of creating something “on the edge,” if He doesn’t let us explore the environs around us? It would be much easier for Him if He did keep us close. But it’s better for us if we learn to be careful and aware of the dangers. Knowing that the Life Guard, can be called on at any time for help gives us security and encourages us to explore.
Our Life Guard…my Life Guard…doesn’t stay in His “stand.” He likes to walk among us and share our life experiences, and has carried us through the sinking sands and rough waters of life more than once. He can still watch out for us, and enjoy and connect with us on a personal level, too.
Jesus is my Life Guard. I no longer think that’s a trite statement. I think it’s probably one of the most accurate assessments of His true character. He guards my life by the people He places around me, by the experiences He allows, by the Bible He lets me have, by His words…His guidance through that Bible…all this He uses to guard and to guide my life. It’s imperative to have a lifeguard on a busy beach, but it’s even more important to have one in every aspect of my life.
If life is a beach, I want Jesus as my Life Guard …all the way to my eternal life with Him!
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