I’m pretty conservative. Not in a “Hey, tuck your shirt in! This is church for crying out loud” kind of way, but in an “I’d much rather drive my Honda CRV than a motorcycle any day,” and, “credit cards scare me” kind of way.

I guess my three-year-old daughter Eden inherited my conservative gene because she exercises extreme caution in swimming pools. She’s in her comfort zone with floaties on, sitting on the steps, not just any step, but the top step. If she ever leaves the top step it’s because I pulled her off and she clings to my neck for dear life. Katie and I try to reason with her saying, “You’re wearing floaties so you’ll float. You don’t have anything to be scared of.” But, it doesn’t work. Sometimes I’ll grab her by the hands and pull her around the pool so she can see that she’ll float but she just says, “Daddy hold me! Daddy hold me! Daddy hold me!”

A crazy thing happened when we went swimming for the last time of the summer. Eden got out of the pool after we’d been swimming for a while and wanted to take her floaties off so Katie took them off. Then, she sat down out of the pool with her feet on the top step. Then, she sat on the top step, then the next step and then the next step until she was holding her breath and sticking her head under water…without floaties on! Katie and I were both close so she wasn’t in danger but it’s crazy that she was so afraid of the thing she shouldn’t be afraid of yet she wasn’t afraid of the thing she should be afraid of.

The scary thing is that so many people live life that way because they don’t have wisdom. If you don’t have wisdom, you have no clue when you’re about to walk into something that could really hurt you. You have no idea when you’re about to make a choice you’ll regret. If you don’t have wisdom, you have no idea when to proceed with caution or when to completely throw yourself into something. I love this Proverb…

The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like total darkness. They have no idea what they are stumbling over (Proverbs 4:18-19).

One of the difficult aspects of my job is watching from a distance as some students make choices that I know have the potential to hurt them. They’re getting dangerously close to wondering off the steps without their floaties on, or tripping over something they can’t see, and they seem to have no clue that they should be afraid.

  2 comments for “Floaties

  1. Charlie Richards
    December 12, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Thanks Neil,All my life fear has controlled me,Im worn.Finally at 48,Im ready to take the floaties off…..and SWIM.

    • December 12, 2011 at 3:18 pm

      Thanks, Charlie! As long as you know where to swim and where not to swim, there’s no reason to be afraid!

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