I’m sure if there is such a thing as an invisible life vest than I’m wearing one an a daily basis…(there is and it’s called a dependence on God). Having made it way into my seventies, seventy-five in July (can you believe I just gave away my age?), actually I’m proud to be able to say it! What’s the alternative? Not a very good one. (I know, you’re not supposed to use clichés, but it works for right now.
Proof of my life vest is a long scar on by back under my right shoulder. That is the result of surgery that went wrong and almost left me dead. I was hospitalized for a month and even longer recuperating. I touched on gratitude in an early blog. And I thank God that I have this reminder of his goodness in my life.
Then there is the time when (at the tender age of eleven, I was thrown into a lake. My brothers thought that would automatically teach me to swim. Don’t ever try this. It doesn’t work. (It took me a long time to overcome my fear of water.)
Fast forward to when I was twenty and out for a day on Folsom Lake in California. I sat on the boat envious as my friends took turns trying to learn to water ski. My friends dad, owner of the boat, was patient and soon all had their turn except me, the non swimmer. (I didn’t put up an adequate argument, obviously) The fact I couldn’t swim didn’t matter they said, as they helped me into the life jacket, lifted me over the side of the boat and managed to get my feet attached to the skis. This is hard for me to visualize, so if you’re keeping up with me so far, just hang on. It’s almost over. And yes it was all over in an instant. My short rise to fame lasted a matter of seconds before I was plundged back in the waves behind the boat. Took several strong guys to lift me back into the boat. (That was the fun part)
You might be interested to know that I did learn how to swim a few years later. A very patient young teacher at the public pool stuck with me and helped me through my fear.
The phrase, throw caution to the wind is rather appropriate for some things I’ve done. Take for instance the time when I was about eight or nine and I decided I wanted to ride my brother’s bicycle. I always had yearned for my own bike, but my mother, too cautious about me, ignored my wishes and told me no. Headstrong, I decided for myself, that I would ride and convince my brother to let me use his bike. Soon I was riding along carefree. I’d gone only two blocks when I realized I needed to turn around and go back. I’d seen my brothers turn in a U and continue so I tried this, but was unable to complete the U. Having only done half of it I found myself flying down the side street, picking up speed as I neared the next intersection. (Needless to tell you, I had no idea about how to brake!)
Going through my brain was I had to turn left, had to turn, had to turn. Did this. Bounced up over the curb and slammed onto the sidewalk. Got up, nothing broken, only skinned knees and bruised ego (now do you believe the life vest?) and limped home where I got bandaged and then disciplined for not obeying.
I still fly headstrong, throwing caution to the wind. But things work out best when you think before you act. But it helps to have a life vest. Have you got a story about something God helped you through?