Tuesday, April 22, 2014


We hosted a community camp in partnership with another local church a couple of years ago. One of the biggest areas of excitement for our campers was the large swimming pool. They were all talking excitedly about it as we pulled up and they obviously couldn't wait to hit the water (in fact, we scheduled 6 different swim times over 3 1/2 days for them.)

After the obligatory safety speech and brief swim test our campers were released to go full speed. What we witnessed next was an interesting phenomenon. In the course of seven minutes the lifeguard pulled three different swimmers out of the deep end of the pool. Each camper had passed their swim test, jumped off the diving board into the deep end of the pool, and subsequently swam like a rock. It didn't take long for us to narrow the list of "deep end" swimmers to very few.

While each of our campers was fine (thanks to the quick reaction of lifeguard & staff) I was left wondering how this could have happened so quickly. My only thought was that they had severely overestimated their ability to swim and ended up needing rescue once they were in over their heads.

I suppose that's not vastly different than moments in my own life when I have overestimated my own abilities (and I would wager that I'm not alone in this either.) How do we end up here? Sometimes it's a matter of personal pride that clouds our perspective. On other occasions perhaps it's a reflection of our undeveloped natural gifting-an ability to do something without refining the skills necessary to succeed. Much like swimming, I then find that I am in over my head and unable to catch my breath. Thank goodness I have had solid mentors and caring people who have rescued me and taught me how to survive.

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