God is always so gracious and faithful to meet me where I am. Even in doing mundane tasks, like pulling weeds or sorting laundry, He teaches me about life.
This morning, I am spending some time outside, and I am: The Pool Boy.
Everybody enjoys an inviting, refreshing swimming pool; with calm sparkling water, where you can see clear to the bottom.
It’s such a delight to slip right in and slide through the water – or cannon ball in, creating a big splash!
But few people are eager to enter when they can see dead tarantulas and scorpions on the bottom, leaves and dust clouding the water, and lifeless mosquitos and dragonflies floating on the top.
Pools require care to maintain. And so it is in our lives.
Rains, winds and storms come. What blows around, settles down. And it makes a mess, dumping dirt, leaves, insects and trash into your pool.
The storms of life, too, leave messes in their wake. Disappointments, missed opportunities, broken dreams, ruined relationships, tragedies; all create stuff for us to deal with.
Here are 2 lessons I learned from being the Pool Boy that have an application in how to handle life.
1 – You have to skim often
You have a skimming net and a pole. With it you scoop and dispose of the floating debris off the surface – the little things, light and easy to skim. Because, what you don’t deal with as floaters, become sinkers. You’ll have to deal with them sometime, and it’s easiest now. On the surface, you can get to them with the least amount of effort. Plus, it lets you see what’s on the bottom more clearly.
Eventually, what doesn’t get skimmed off the top, will make its way to the bottom, lay there and rot. Sinkers have to be pushed to the drain to get to the filter and go through it to be cleaned out. And sinkers can gum up the works.
In life, whenever you can, deal with the little things while they’re still “little things.” Those annoyances, irritations, things that make you lose your focus or your ability act with kindness and generosity, can often be dealt with easily if nipped in the bud. If not, they can become major issues that are much more difficult to deal with.
Think of something in your life that’s bothersome. Is it something that could become a bigger problem of you don’t deal with it now? Even though we may not like confrontation, clearing the air in a situation or relationship can save you trouble farther down the road.
2 – You have to go slow
A brush on a long pole helps you brush the sides and the bottom to guide the dirt and sinkers along to the drain. And you have to go very slow. Every movement in water creates eddies and currents – underwater waves.
Going fast just stirs up everything. Then you have to wait for it all to settle again before making another pass. If you go slow, you can gently push the problem debris to the drain to get sucked into the filter.
It’s tempting to want to brush fast, and use more force, like sweeping a floor. But that won’t get you what you want, and you’ll end up making a bigger mess and causing yourself more delays.
In circumstances and relationships, don’t just take control or rush in with brute force to get what you want. Take time to understand what’s going on. Think and pray about the best course of action.
So, life is like a pool. And God has given you the lessons and tools you need to keep up with maintaining it.
If you want your life to be inviting to others, take care of the little, surface problems while they’re still small, and easy to deal with. That may mean making an apology, offering forgiveness, keeping your mouth shut. Be guided by scripture and the Holy Spirit.
When you tackle bigger issues, move slowly and be prepared to use extra resources that will extend your reach. That would mean take time to pray about your actions first.
How does you “pool” look? Inviting? Refreshing? Uninviting? Has a recent rainstorm left you with some work to do?
Grab your tools. Be The Pool Boy!