Thursday, March 3, 2011
The Difference One Day Can Make
Today, I was remembering one of the most vivid memories of my entire childhood. I grew up in the desserts of Arizona. Back when I was young, we did not have air conditioning and so it took planning to stay cool in the heat of summer. One of our favorite things to do as small children, was to go with our mother and her friends to spend the day at the lake.
We would drive for what seemed like forever (although in reality, it was probably just over an hour) to get up to the lake. Then we would all unpack our things, take out the picnic lunch, and go play in the water of the lake.
The lake we went to most often was called Canyon Lake. When the dam was put into the canyon, the water filled up and made a fairly large and deep lake. The one problem with the lake was that you could be walking in water that was about waist deep and all of a sudden you would drop off the edge into the deep part of the lake. I am sure it made swimming with small children very interesting.
I remember going often to the lake. We swam on inner tubes from old cars and trucks. I did not know how to swim myself, so a tube was my constant companion. One sunny day, I was around five years old and I was swimming and playing by myself in the water and managed to drift a little away from everybody else. In my splashing around, I slipped from my tube and went under the lake water. I tried to swim up to the top, I really did, but I was still two to three feet under the top of the water and could see the cliff drop down into murky blackness.
Suddenly, I saw my mother's yellow swimming suit. She swam down into that muddy lake water, grabbed hold of me and hauled me out, coughing and sputtering, and crying with relief.
Today, I still remember the feeling of nearly drowning and not being able to help myself. I remember that vibrant yellow bathing suit. Today, yellow is still one of my favorite colors. Most of all, I remember the wonder and relief that I felt that my mother would know where to find me and manage to save me.
Life can be so much like that murky lake water. We struggle to do things on our own. We want to try things our own way. We want to be able to be independant and experience the world around us. We want to try and the things that we have heard about, or the things that our friends are doing. We can't see the cliffs and the dangers that are waiting for us to slip. But our Father in Heaven can. He knows exactly where we are in all of this mess that is sometimes life. He knows exactly what we need and He knows how to help us. We just need to trust in His teaching and guidance. We just need to listen to His words and read His scriptures. They will help us as we are treading the water of life. And sometimes (maybe even often) those scriptures, those words of God, are the very things that will pull us from the murky blackness.