A few years ago, we had the privilege of going to San Diego, California. The beaches there are beautiful and crowded. They are also well guarded. Every 50-75 meters, there was a lifeguard station. Each one had a lifeguard watching over the people. Now think about that title – life guard – a person who guards the lives of others. That’s a pretty high calling. These life guard stations were equipped with loud speakers and all kinds of saving equipment. Whenever people went too far out in the water or acted in ways that endangered others, you would hear the lifeguard’s voice over the loud speaker: “Please come in closer to the beach. Surfers to the right of the rope; swimmers to the left.” Or “Shark! Octopus! Giant Squid! Seals!” Then occasionally, if they saw people in trouble, they would rush out of their station and jump into the water to rescue them.
The life guard’s responsibility to guard and save lives reminds me of God. He pronounces warnings so people know they are in danger. He constantly intervenes to help those in trouble. He saves lives.
But sometimes people, like us, think we don’t need God’s rescue. We are like the people on the beach totally unaware of the tides and undercurrents. We may not know of a shark or a monster wave coming toward us. So we swim and go on with life as if the lifeguard shouldn’t be listened to or doesn’t even exist. Or we can get complacent and let ourselves drift into danger zones. We act like we know better than the life guard how far we can go out into the ocean. We can ignore warnings and keep paddling out further until we might get carried away.