Not waving, but drowning

Wilsons_2013 Posted by Rory Wilson on Mon, 09 Feb 2015 | 2 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

Many of you will know that I like swimming.

In Uganda there are beautiful swimming pools – but they are for the rich and none of them are close to Kiwoko. Thus, at the weekend, I found myself in one of our local water dams which the cattle keepers make to store water for their animals in the dry season.

A hot day meant that it was a pleasant, refreshing dip. This dam is fairly big – about 10×20 metres. Two local boys took the opportunity to join me jumping in and out of the deeper end. They don’t know how to swim, but know where the shallow water becomes deep and so they kept themselves safe. Another lad came along and watched with interest – I asked if he knew how to swim. He said yes and joined us.

I was more interested in a swim than in jumping in and out (a sign of old age?) and so I left them and made to swim up to the other end, however my brain noted something irregular out of the corner of my eye, so I looked round…was the boy swimming or drowning? I turned and in a few quick strokes pulled the newcomer out from under the water. He choked and spat out a lot of water and was OK.

It’s the second time in Uganda that I’ve fished somebody out from a dam who had greater confidence in their swimming ability than the evidence would support.

The lack of drama surprised me. The lad was quietly drowning and I almost missed it. But I was also struck by his confidence a few minutes earlier that he knew how to swim. If he’d not been so confident I would have directed him to the shallower parts, but his confident self-sufficiency meant that I left him to it – nearly to his disaster.

The young man is fine and hopefully will not repeat the mistake. I reflect again though how many times I try and do things on my own without God’s help – only turning to Him when I am in trouble. God is pleased to rescue us, but it would be far more sensible to get His direction and assistance from the start.

I’m certainly glad that this lad let me rescue him, but it would have been far better for his lungs and confidence if he’d just been more honest at the outset with himself and me about his abilities. This young man’s mistake nearly killed him, but I probably make the same mistake many times every day!

Happy swimming everybody – with the support you need.



tgg said Tue, 10 Feb 2015 10:29PM
well done RHG
john said Fri, 01 May 2015 11:55AM
awesome work!!!!

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