“You have to wear a life preserver if you play around the pool,” we told Corban. We had to smile at his uncharacteristic caution when he loaded on four of them. It was a game to him, but there was certainly no harm in it. If you can’t swim, you can’t have too many life preservers!
I was able to swim well by the time I reached the third grade, but there are still times I wear a life preserver for protection or precaution. Growing up on Lake Michigan, you learn quickly to have a healthy respect for the water. You have to watch for undertows, rip currents and waves, of course. When the conditions get dicey, it’s nice to be able to shuck into a life preserver, just in case.
Sometimes the waters of my life can get choppy. I am affected by world events, anxieties of life, physical limitations, stress fallout from personal decisions or reactions to others’ decisions. When they come rushing at me from out in left field and catch me off-guard, there are times I find myself unprepared and ill-equipped. I need a figurative life preserver to help me cope, to provide safety and security and enough buoyancy to ride it out.
What do I turn to when I’m feeling swamped and need a little buoyancy? Hmmm… Good books, good friends, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, popcorn, good coffee, prayer, my loyal cat. How nice that we can surround ourselves with things like this when we find ourselves in the midst of ‘rough seas’. And when I take off the life preserver, I’ll stop a minute to be grateful for and appreciative of those things that calm my waters or help me weather them. Well-defended against crisis, stress or the unexpected, we can’t have too many life preservers!