Today I want you to imagine that you are on your first day as a Brand New Lifeguard.
You enter the pool in your lifeguard uniform, ready to save lives.
You have practiced and studied to pass the swim test, and obtain your CPR and First Aid Certifications.
This is a dream come true for you…
(are you with me here? Can you feel the excitement of this day?)
Now lets walk into the pool together and see what our first day on the job will be like.
Your Supervisor immediately finds you and says,
” So you just became a lifeguard huh?”
To which you reply,
He then reminds you that just because you have learned a few techniques and have a shiny whistle around your neck doesn’t mean you are ready to save lives.
He then says he is going to take you around and show you the ropes.
He informs you that it is a BIG POOL OUT THERE, and that people just want to have fun.
The rules are a drag, so don’t worry about the rules.
The lifeguards are just there to hang out and look cool.
As he is telling you all these backward ideas you spot a child who is drowning…
He tells you if she needs our help she will come to us and ask us, otherwise always assume that they are fine and don’t interfere with their fun.
You try to explain that she can’t ask for help because she is drowning. He just says again…
“If she needs help she will ask, otherwise its none of our business.”
He then asks you if you are familiar with the Life Preserver Ring.
You excitedly tell him yes, and begin to explain the five-finger method…
” We have found that it is much more useful as a ring to use in our bing-bag toss competition.”
You are starting to get really confused and ask, but how does bing- bag tossing save lives?
He laughs at you and says,
” it doesn’t but…It is ridiculously fun to play.”
Your starting to get a bad feeling about the people working here. You wonder if they even care if someone dies in the pool or not.
So you point out the poster to your supervisor which lists the 10 Commandments of the pool.
He brushes you off again and just says,
“We let people pick and choose which of those commandments they are going to obey…remember, people just want to have fun.”
Just then some kids come running as fast as they can past you. You stop them and tell them to NEVER run next to the pool because they could get hurt.
He tells you that how they behave is none of your business, and that if you are going to be a kill joy like that, people will stop wanting to come to this pool. And worse than that, people might start thinking that Lifeguards are weird.
Then he shows you the Life Guard stand.
You proudly proclaim that it gives you a 180 degree view of the pool, so you can keep everyone safe.
He laughs at you and says,
“NO stupid, that’s where we go when we want to be left alone.”
You are appalled!
You ask, but how can we save people if we aren’t even paying attention to them?
He says in order to save people lifeguards need to spend time alone, to meditate and read. If they are always looking out for others, how can they save themselves?
By now, your head is spinning with confusion.
You thought being a lifeguard was going to give you the opportunity to save lives, but the only duty your supervisor tells you to worry about is the “duties” that occasionally pop up in the pool.
What kind of place is this?
Who are these people?
So you ask him these questions to which he responds…
“Well, we got tired of everyone saying that lifeguards were no fun and that we were all a bunch of lamos. People were always saying things like, ooh don’t do that in front of Jim, he’s a lifeguard.”
We have a saying around here, “We are not to be OF the pool, but IN the pool.”
He then reminisces about how when he first became a lifeguard he too wanted to save people, but then he realized that nobody thought he was cool, or fun to hang out with, and he decided that being popular was WAY more important than saving lives.
ARE YOU THAT GUY?
Have you decided that living a life that was pleasing to God was boring?
That sharing your testimony with someone would make you stand out and be different?
Or, maybe you keep silent because you believe that if they wanted your help, they would ask for it.
I recently read a quote from the famous Las Vegas Magician, Penn Jillette, he was asked what he tought about Christians sharing their faith.
Now lets remember that he is a very OutSpoken Atheist. He makes no bones about his belief that there is NO God.
But here is how he feels about us sharing our faith and beliefs.
In a YouTube video that went viral three years ago, Jillette criticized atheists who argue that Christians should not share their faith with others.
“I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize,” Jillette said, “I don’t respect that at all.
“If you believe that there is a Heaven and a Hell, and people could be going to Hell … and you think it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward, … how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize?
“How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that? I mean, if I believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that a truck was coming at you and you didn’t believe it, … there’s a certain point where I tackle you, and [everlasting life] is more important than that.”
So again I want to ask the question…
ARE YOU THAT GUY?
I know that far to often… I am that guy.
Today, I want to encourage you to ponder this question deeply.
If you really believe that there is only one road to Heaven, and the consequence of missing that road is spending Eternity in the Lake of Fire…
Why would you ever allow anyone to get lost, when you have the road map that can point them in the right direction?
Speaking up about our beliefs IS scary…very scary.
But if we don’t start doing just that, the consequences could be disastrous.