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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

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The parable of the lifeguard

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One day there was a lifeguard that appeared along the shore.  He had arrived with his family on an errand to help save the drowning souls in the waters along the beach.  The lifeguard came equipped with the skills needed, and immediately waded into the water to cast the lifeline.

English: Lifeguard Post, Hove Beach King's Esp...
English: Lifeguard Post, Hove Beach King's Esplanade is to the left whilst the piers can be seen in the background. The flags indicate the wind direction. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The lifeguard waited for the chance to officially serve.  He decided to ask, and was assigned.  Unfortunately, soon people came forward to call the lifeguard to task.  He used different methods in search and rescue, and was asked to cease.

The lifeguard became frustrated.  Despite the souls drowning, he silently pulled a few to safety, and searched around for another beach.  He had promised his employer that he would save as many as he could, so he petitioned for beaches close by the place where he had moved his family.

Soon those responsible for the lives on the beaches close by learned of the credentials of the lifeguard, and he showed them all he had learned.  The knowledge of navigating the waves to steer souls to safety spread for hundreds of miles.

The lifeguard traveled further, but still yearned for the souls lost in the water along the beach where he lived.  One day, he received word that a beach was closing in a place where more family were drifting in the water and not able to see their way clearly to shore, so he left his family for a season to find people to help man this new beach.

He longed for family back home, but he found many who did embark in lifeguard training.  The future looked promising until the lifeguard received word that his family was now back home drowning and did not want to leave the water to join him where he now was.

Lifeguard at the Praia Grande ('Large Beach')....
Lifeguard at the Praia Grande ('Large Beach'). Porto Covo, west coast of Portugal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Returning home, the lifeguard faced the glares for leaving and accusations of folly.  He eventually stayed home or in the water rather than wander among the crowd along the beach.  The lifeguard safety net was still viable, and became a protection for the lifeguard himself.  He yet continued the craft of soul saving only to realize the soul who benefited the most was his own.

With a strong arm, he directed his family to safety.  They had been baited out onto the water by gifts and acceptance without duties - with favor without faith.  They could not stand alone among the waves that came rushing in.

What a blessing the employer had equipped the lifeguard and had provided opportunities along the waters of distant shores so the lifeguard could be strong enough to help his family wade through the murky water back to the safety of home.

The story does not end here.  Word has it that the employer has promised the lifeguard employment along the ultimate beach where beauty and work and friendship will not cease.  He has been promised prosperity and protection and that his family will follow him this time too.
Lifeguard jumping into action in Ocean City, M...
Lifeguard jumping into action in Ocean City, Maryland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So if you are a steward along this new beach, be careful not to overlook the lifeguard.  He will be easy to spot.  You will find him already in the water and not sunning along the beach.  He will be pulling others to safety for that he has taken an oath to do.  Don't be offended, and be sure to sustain.  He is your servant, but you cannot employ him for he knows there is One who has already done so.

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