Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What Do You Ask a Drowning Man?

Growing up, our family did not have the luxury of having a pool in our backyard.  Not a big deal while we lived in Oregon.  On the warm days, we would drive to a lake close by our house, or even the coast.

Sometimes our family would vacation with our relatives in Michigan.  As a kid, I always had a blast with our extended family in the Mid-West.  We would usually stay for around 10 days or so and in that time; we would shuffle from home to home.  All of them had a pool in their back yard – which was great for us.  In the warm mugginess, it was great to cool off in their pools.

One time, me and my younger brother were swimming at a pool that belonged to our aunt and uncle.  This particular on, was the largest of all of our relatives pools.  It had a diving board and went from 3 feet deep to 9 feet.  This was fantastic!  We had a blast – although neither of us was old enough to go swimming in the deeper end.  It didn’t matter both of us were satisfied swimming in the shallow end.

Then it happened.

The walls and floor of the pool were a type of vinyl that was rather slippery.  My brother was close to the drop off to the deep end.  That is correct.  It wasn’t a gradual decline; it was a quick drop into 9 feet of water.  My brother was on that line.  Then he slipped, and was slipping down.

In a brief moment a six year old and a nine year old were in deep panic.  Within the context of nanoseconds decisions had to be made.  What was supposed to happen?  He was slipping and going down.  What was I supposed to do?

Should I run into the house to get help?
Should I scream for help?
Should I wait for someone to come?
Should I go look for some sort of life saving devise?
Should I have asked him if he wanted help?
If he did want help, should I ask him if he wanted me to help?

Although it probably didn’t register in my head this way, but it’s pretty obvious that no one asks a drowning man if they want to be saved.

We just do it. 
We just help.

Isn’t that the situation of every non-believer that is around us?  Are they not on a slippery slope to hell?  At this very moment, are they not in blatant rebellion against God and bound to eternal separation from Him?

And I hesitate.
Do you?

Oh God, give me the strength to move beyond myself and love others as You love them.  Father, I want to lift up my neighbors to You.  I can’t change them.  Only You can.  Bring them the love of Your Son.  If there is a way that You can use me, please do so.

Needless to say, I pushed my brother to the shallow end.  He was safe again.  No harm done.  By the time we were done swimming we forgot what even happened in the pool.  Meanwhile, my “neighbor” is sitting in the office right next to mine.