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The Pool Attendant
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She pushes and pushes and pushes. Sweat drips from her forehead and wets her uniform. She wipes her brow and stops for a moment to rest. Then she goes at it again.
Waves of propelled water from her squeegee stick are hurled up off the pool deck. Over and over she tries to push it up onto the plants that cover a small landscaped hill next to the pool deck. The rains from the night before have made a pond in an ill-conceived flat area that adjoins the big pool, the jacuzzi and the kiddie pool.
A drain installed when the pool was constructed would have been the obvious solution. Instead, the pool attendant repeatedly does what looks like her usual routine. I watch as she determinedly tries to get the water into the plants and off the walkway.
Push, push, push.....and then she watches 90% of it flow back down the hill, back into the puddle. Only this time it carries mud and debris from the hill. She started with a large puddle of clear rain water and ends with a murky pond that looks more like coffee than water. I kept thinking, "This woman needs a Wet-Vac." But, instead, she resumes her well intended but futile pushing.
And, as she did I begin to see myself in her stead...
trying, but still ending up with a muddy pond. Sweat stained and breathless, but not seeing results equal with my effort.
In the early morning hours there weren't many people, but as the hours wear on the flow of foot traffic increases. Because this area of the pool deck was centrally located, it was the main walkway for people using the pool and the surrounding areas. Even to take a stroll on the beach, hotel guests had to navigate through this place.
And, as they do they had to step lightly through and around the muddy puddle.
The puddle fights back to claim its territory. The young woman gives up and puts up cones to keep people out of the worst of it. I go back to reading my book and become engrossed in the story.
A couple of hours later I look up and I am amazed to see that what all of her efforts could not do, the sun and persistent winds had done very nicely. The pool deck was now dry and the cones were gone. No more stepping lightly.
Sometimes in my trying, even with my best intentions, I muddy the water with my efforts. To be sure, God gives me a task to do, but He isn't looking for large empty efforts. Sometimes He says, "Put away the squeegee, Tracy. Step aside and let me do what I do best."
And, sometimes He tells me to get a better tool. He doesn't measure things by my efforts but rather, my obedience. Sometimes, He tells me to get a Wet-Vac. But, even then, He needs to be the Power source.
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