Do You Know Where Your Kids Are Swimming?

Do you know which pool your kids are swimming in?

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By far, one of the highlights of our Colorado adventure trip was a morning at the natural hot springs.  I didn’t have to hang off a hundred-foot cliff by a tiny rope.  I didn’t have to walk 40 miles, up hill, both ways, in thin mountain air.  No one was falling into the icy river as we navigated rapids designed for Olympians.  Nothing but a natural hot tub…now that’s my idea of adventure.

The hot springs were divided into three pools.  One was a tepid, playing pool.  Kids were playing volleyball, chicken fighting (don’t tell the lifeguards), and swimming laps in that pool.  It was cool upon entering, but one could swiftly adapt….like most pools on a warm summer’s day.

One pool was about the temperature of a traditional hot tub.  But it was huge.  So it was kind of like being in a pretty hot bath with 113 of your closest friends.  It was more of a therapy pool – no playing, just relaxing.

Then there was the final pool – a crescent shaped pool with lots of warning signs about the heat.  And rightly so!  I’m not sure, but I think this pool might have actually been the first model for the Lake of Fire.

So of course, our teenagers were trying to man up and just jump in the crescent pool and stay in.  Few of them could.  It was just way too hot.

I noticed, though, that a few of them would get in and just muscle through the obvious burn.  They would sweat.  Their skin turned red (probably a rise in blood pressure).  Even though they knew it was hotter than a really hot place, they wanted to be in that pool.

I found a fascinating distinction between that pool and the others.  In the other pools, it was them temperature of the water that seemed to change.  Realistically, that didn’t happen.  Bodies just acclimate to the temperature of the pools.  But it seemed as though the cool water pool got warmer – and the traditional hot-tub water got cooler.  Kids were able to stay in both pools for prolonged periods without danger or threat as their bodies became accustomed to the water temperatures.

But in the SUPER HOT tub – the water temperature didn’t seem to change.  The water didn’t get cooler – people just got hotter….and hotter….and hotter.  And even though they were burning up – even undergoing physiological changes – they refused to get out of the pool.

It was a perfect microcosm of our student community.

We had kids who wouldn’t go anywhere near that pool.  It was too hot.  Period.  They didn’t need to try it out.  They already knew – just stay away.

We had kids who knew it was hot, but just wanted to give it a try.  And as soon as they jumped in, they jumped right back out.  Too hot.  They tried it once.  Maybe to say they had tried it.  Maybe out of curiosity.  But it didn’t take long in the pool to help them realize they just weren’t cut out for that kind of heat.

And then there were those few kids who just dived head-long into the cauldron.  Smiling as their blood pressure rose – the sweat beaded up on their foreheads – scoffing as friends tried to get them to come out of the pool.

Left in that pool long enough – according to the warning signs – people develop nausea, dizziness, even the possibility of stroke.  Being in that pool for prolonged periods of time is life threatening.

Incidentally – there was only a small, concrete wall separating the hot tub from the hotter-than-hell tub.  Wouldn’t take much for kids to jump from normal hot to life-threatening hot.

Do you know which pool your kids are swimming in?

Author: Darren Sutton

I'm a dad - husband - veteran youth pastor. I'm trying to follow God's call on my life, despite my own shortcomings & because of His unfailing love.

2 thoughts on “Do You Know Where Your Kids Are Swimming?”

  1. Interesting idea. I’m guessing the super-hot pool represents those students who have found a home in your ministry.

    What are the real-life symptoms that are analogous to “nausea, dizziness, even … stroke”? I like the idea of youth ministry that may prove “life threatening,” but can you flesh that idea out a little more?

    1. Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of the hottest tub being kids who get trapped within the influence of the world, without even realizing it. But I kinda like the student ministry analogy, too. I’ll have to chew on that a bit! Thanks for the thought!!!

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