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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Are You In?

Before I jump into this true and harrowing tale, I want to assure you that no one was injured; there was indeed a happy ending for all.

The setting: My children’s high school swimming pool. There are two ways to get to the pool, and both are circuitous, confusing routes if you’re not a high school student. There is a balcony area for observation.

Cast of characters: Little children learning to swim, teenaged swimmers instructing them, at least one adult supervising the program.

The plot: Organized, noisy chaos reigns as kids splash and yell in small groups around the pool with their teenaged instructors. In one corner, one little boy holds onto the side of the pool and inches his hands along the edge, scooting himself farther and farther away from his small group. No one notices because of the echoing shouts and splashing.

The Conflict: Soon the boy pushes off the side and expects his feet to touch bottom, but they do not. He goes under. He comes back up splashing, gasping for air, and goes down a second time. He surfaces again and begins to panic.

As I said, no one is aware of what is happening--that is, no one in the pool, but there is a pair of eyes in the balcony on him every second. Can you guess who sees the boy in trouble?

His father. Dad is watching the whole episode unfold and realizes his child is in serious trouble.

He watches the boy flounder, growing more concerned by the second. Dad rises, points to his son, and calls out attention to him. There is no response. He yells louder and becomes more animated, but no one sees or hears.

Except for our pastor’s wife. She hears the father, looks up, sees his pointing finger and hears the pleading, “Somebody help my child! He’s in trouble! Somebody help!”

Dramatic Conclusion: In a split second, she decides she’s going in. On her way to the boy, she pulls off her shoes and jumps as soon as she gets to the edge and pulls the boy to safety.

It’s not a perfect allegory, but this story parallels the everyday chaos in people’s lives. Many are in peril; some are going down for the last time. The Father sees all and points and pleads, “Somebody do something—that’s my child! Help him! Help her!”

You don’t have to be a professional minister to help pull people out of a pit. You don't even have to be married to one or play one on TV. You do have to be *awake*--cognizant of people living in harm’s way, listening for the Father’s voice and following his direction.

You have to be willing to cast off things that might show you down, like my pastor’s wife throwing off her shoes. Fear, pride and complacency will hold you back and weigh you down.

You have to forget that the drowning person made poor decisions and got himself into trouble in the first place. That’s a moot point.

The question is, “Are you in?”

To be “in,” you have to be willing to get completely wet, not just damp from being splashed, but willing to get all the way in.

Lifeguards are trained to expect drowning people to initially resist the guard’s efforts to save them; it’s a fear-inspired, instinctive reaction. Likewise, spiritual lifeguards should stay spiritually conditioned and strong so that the drowning person doesn’t drag down his helper.

To sum up, the faithful servant needs to be
-Aware of what in the world God is doing, literally
-Solid in her relationship with Christ, spiritually prepared to do battle
-Willing to sacrifice
-Non-judgmental of the needy

Are you in?

Jesus was “in” for us: Luke 19:10, “The Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost.”

Others who have never known us have been all in for us, too: 1 Corinthians 9:22b “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.”

And many of us, especially me, have benefited from those who have known us, warts and all, and still jumped in. For that, I am very grateful.

How about you? Are you in?


Linda is also very grateful for her pastor's story which she has shared here.
Please visit her personal blog at 2nd Cup of Coffee.

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10 Comments:

Blogger Cheryl said...

That was a wonderful post. I am glad that the boy was O.K. This was truly touching. I enjoyed reading it. Count me "in". I want to be a faithful servant. Thanks for sharing. God Bless!

November 13, 2007 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger Darnelle said...

I am in a situation where a person in desperate need of "help" is fighting everyone who comes near. Thank you for reminding me about what is at stake. Thank you for this post. I'm in.

November 13, 2007 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

Praise the Lord! - wooo I needed that this morning! I'm in...lets get wet!

November 13, 2007 at 11:15 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

Thank you dear for this, I am in.

November 13, 2007 at 11:17 AM  
Blogger Heather@Mommymonk said...

I am so ready to jump right in there. Keeping my eyes open!

November 13, 2007 at 12:41 PM  
Anonymous Lynn said...

Girl,

Great story and I AM IN!! Also, I have been one to bew rescued on many occasion. Thank you Linda.

November 13, 2007 at 4:06 PM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

I'm in too!

And btw - preacher's wives rock. :)

November 13, 2007 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger lori said...

ALL IN~~
ABSOLUTELY...
great message Linda...

We, as the Body of Christ MUST commit ourselves to being ALL IN...what a difference we could make...
JUMPING NOW!

loved it!
lori

November 13, 2007 at 7:49 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Great word! Thanks for reminding us to "get in". I sure want to be in on what God is doing, and that always includes helping others. :)

November 14, 2007 at 6:07 PM  
Blogger Chris @ Come to the Table said...

Linda,
Loved this post!

I am in!

November 14, 2007 at 10:43 PM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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