When I was in high school, I was a lifeguard. I worked at both a local neighborhood pool and a rec center pool at a community college. Now, I’m not going to say I was a great lifeguard…mostly because that would be a lie. But I did look good in my official lifeguard uniform and I could swing a whistle around my finger with the best of them.
The rec center pool was not exciting. It was a huge olympic size pool that was mostly lap swimmers and occasionally swim team practices and swim lessons. It was not the most thrilling way to spend time and never, not once did I ever have to jump in, let alone use my floaty thing to help anyone at that pool. So…I got bored…like really bored…so I would find anything to help pass the time. Generally speaking, I would keep watch, show up on time, and not leave early. All the big obvious things that needed to happen, I did. The things I obviously shouldn’t do, I avoided.
But let’s be honest, I was not winning lifeguard of the year. One time when I was sitting there I noticed that my foot started to fall asleep…I had nothing else to do…so I just let it fall asleep. I could feel the feelings leave my foot and then my ankle and then it moved up my body. Before long, my entire leg was completely numb. No feeling, not even a little bit.
My leg was the equivalent of Cruella de Vil watching Marley and Me.
It is a weird moment when you can’t feel anything in your leg.
It is a terrible moment when someone then asks for your help, which requires you to walk to the other end of the olympic size pool.
As I stumbled down off my lifeguard chair, hobbled across the pool deck dragging my lifeless leg behind me, people were wondering…why is this guy a lifeguard?
I was wondering that same thing.
I willingly let my leg fall asleep. I knew it was coming and I didn’t take any steps to stop it. I willingly let something keep me from being able to walk, run, or really swim…which are 3 pretty vital things needed to be a lifeguard.
Do we do the same?
Do we know something isn’t good for us or something may cause problems at some point and yet we willingly let them take their toll?
See most of us know certain things aren’t great for us. There are the big obvious things we don’t do or avoid. There are things we try to do or not do because it is the universally accepted moral and ethical way to behave…but their are a whole lot of things we are apathetic towards, that we sense are probably not great, and yet we do nothing about it.
Do those things that seem like not such a big deal actually wreak havoc in the long run on us on others and we don’t even realize?
I was recently visiting with a pastor friend of mine that told me I need to take more time. He talked to me about how there has to be better margin in my life and that if I don’t take breaks, it will ruin the longevity of my life in ministry…not to mention how it will impact my friends, family, and faith.
He then made the statement,
“If you keep doing what you are doing, it is violence to your soul.”
For me, that thing, that is not a big deal, was working everyday, preaching every week, and never really shutting off work. It is not bad in the sense that my job is a calling, I shepherd a community of faith, I get to learn, teach and preach the Word of God constantly. I’m not out selling illegal drugs on the dark web…but if I let that thing, that is good and must have vital parameters, continue and not be kept in check, it will hurt me and keep me from being helpful to others.
It is letting my leg fall asleep while I’m on duty.
Being a disciple of Jesus helps us to stay aware of our body, soul, and life in the Kingdom of God.
The more we follow after Jesus, the more we recognize the things that we can let go of, the things we should hold tightly to, and the ways to live in this world.
This journey of life and faith gets us more in tune with our creator, it refines us over a lifetime, not just in a moment. Praying a prayer and not cussing too much is not the defining feature of those who follow after Jesus. The defining feature of those who follow after Jesus, is following after Jesus.
So, take time to know who Jesus is. Do what Jesus did. Love as Jesus loved. Live as Jesus lived. Be more like him and find your rest and identity in him.
When you do this, you will be able to hear what Jesus has for you, where he is calling you, and your life will look more like his.
Lifeguarding was not really my thing…mostly because I wasn’t really into it. I wasn’t giving it my all. I kind of did the bare minimum and let little things keep me from being great at it.
Give your all to this faith. Take those steps to know Jesus more and live according to him. You might realize, things that seem innocuous now, could wreak havoc on your soul later.
Jesus hasn’t called us into a life of fear, or havoc, or violence that leaves us restless, lifeless, or soulless. He has called us into a life to the full. Follow after him and he will will lead you to green pastures and still water. And no worries, I’m not the lifeguard there…he is.
I look forward to being with you this Sunday as we continue to follow after Jesus. A few quick notes.
- We will have worship like normal at 10am and we’ll also have our monthly communion at 9am. It’s just a short communion service, about 15 minutes and then it’s a great time to visit with others, help us set up, or just secure your parking and seating before the 10am service.
- This Sunday is the beginning of the 4th of July week, so it will likely be crowded. plan accordingly with parking and seating for worship. We will have a tent and fans this Sunday to help with the crowds and summer heat.
- If you have kids in town ages 5 years old-6th grade, we would love to have them join us for Kids Church. You can fill out the info below and drop them off with us at the Seaside Neighborhood School, or you can sign them in on site at the Chapel and at 9:55 they will be walked over to the School. We will also be walking them back to the chapel at 11:00.
If you want your kids to join us for Kids Church, they must be in our database. You can fill out info on site at drop off or ahead of time, right here: https://thechapelatseaside.churchcenter.com/people/forms/239938
- If you haven’t been around lately and want to catch up on previous sermons, check out our podcast archives on our website, https://thechapelatseaside.com/podcast/ on apple or wherever you stream podcasts.
- Finally, on July 9th and 16th we are excited to have our friend and pastor Clay Scroggins guest preach at The Chapel. Clay is an incredible preacher, faithful follower of Jesus, and has been serving in ministry for about 20 years in the Atlanta area. Clay has preached a few times before here at The Chapel and we are excited to have him back with us next Sunday, July 9th and 16th.
Sarah and I are excited to see you on Sunday. Let us know if you need anything.