Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Lifeguard (11/09/06)
TITLE: Jesus--The Ultimate Lifeguard (ii)
By Marty Wellington
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Looking out over the crowd of tanned torsos and sun-bleached hair, he wondered how his introduction into the Wahealli Lifesaving School would be perceived. His heart raced and a tender smile played upon his lips as he thought about his purposeful speech.
“Good morning everyone and welcome to the Wahealli Lifesaving School’s introductory session on lifesaving measures for the general public. Our school was established to provide detailed instruction for both professional lifeguards as well as help the public be aware of proper safety techniques in and around the water.
“As we move through the program this morning, please don’t hesitate to ask questions. We always begin this session with explaining our top ten safety tips and general information on drowning. Since drowning is the third leading cause of accidental death in the United States and in our state, Hawaii, drowning is the leading cause of injury death for children under the age of 15; it makes sense that we aggressively educate the public on water safety."
Todd paused briefly, allowing these statistics to sink in for his audience. “Our staff members are distributing pamphlets on water safety. Please follow along with me.
1. Swim Near A Lifeguard: Lifeguards are trained to assist and serve. Don’t neglect the importance of staying in close proximity to a lifeguard when in the water. Jesus is the ultimate Lifeguard—don’t leave home without Him and always swim near Him.
2. Learn To Swim: Learning to swim and to tread water is crucial to water safety. Teach children to swim at an early age and when they are old they will not depart from this instruction.
3. Never Swim Alone: Remember, the buddy system that works so well in real life, works just as well in the water. Having friends to support us and encourage us is critical to a happy and productive life.
4. Don't Fight the Current: If you find yourself caught in a rip current, don’t panic. Instead, relax, swim parallel to the shore until the current relaxes. Then a short swim should bring you safely to shore. Advice is just as good when you encounter any kind of dry land trial—relax and let Jesus handle it. He will bring you safely home.
5. Swim Sober: Alcohol can slow your reflexes, reduce body temperature and impair swimming ability. Keep alert. Be watchful and maintain a clear head when swimming in the ocean of life.
6. Leash Your Board: Floatation devices should be used only with a leash attached to the board and to the ankle or wrist. Think of it this way, the leash is your life line to something that could save you. In other words, think of the floatation device as the Bible and the leash as your permanent tie to it keeping it with you always to save you from disaster.
7. Don't Float Where You Can't Swim: Don’t use a floatation device unless you can swim. Unless you know the Lord, His word, the Bible, won’t be understandable.
8. Life Jackets = Boating Safety: Life jackets are a must for boaters. While most people don’t expect to fall overboard, accidents do occur and without proper fitting life jackets, many fatalities take place.
9. Don't Dive Headfirst, Protect Your Neck: Take care when diving into unknown depths. Check out the water first, for obstructions and depth, then enter feet first the first time. Be cautious when exploring new territory or seeking God’s will. Test the waters first—He will guide you.
10. At Home, You're the Lifeguard: Remember to look out for children and those less experienced than yourself while swimming in the home pool. As a growing Christian, you can be an example, leading others through the uncertain waters of life.”
“Hey, what’s this all about buddy?” “What’s all this Jesus talk?” Many in the crowd mocked him and moved away in frustration and disbelief.
Todd squinted into the morning sun and then spoke with deliberate intention. “Well, in answer to those questions, I have to say that our school teaches life saving--not just physical life, but spiritual life as well. They go hand-in-hand.”
Reference: The top ten safety tips are part of the United States Lifesaving Association’s (USLA) Training Guide for USLA Safety Tips.
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