Look for signs of danger.

31 Lessons from an Epic Beginner // 15: Look for signs.

Day 15 of 31 Lessons from an Epic Beginner

My friends and I stood near the end of the roped off swimming area in a small Georgia lake (the state, not the country), feeling a little antsy and a little courageous. I don't remember who first came up with the idea. I might have said me, if I didn't know better.

Eight of us dove under the rope, and started our voyage out into the blue (or slightly murky green-ish brown) with our destination, the shore opposite the lake, clearly in sight. We hadn't swam far when a few realized they'd also have to swim back and decided it wasn't worth it.

Onward the remaining five of us went. Some of us doing the crawl, some something a little more reminiscent of a doggy paddle, and my favorite, transitioning back and forth between side strokes and a more relaxing back stroke. A little short of breath and a lot proud, we all touched bottom on the other side, taking a quick rest for the journey back.

Not even halfway through our return swim, someone pointed out there was a boat headed our way. It was clear this was some sort of an official, definitely with his sights on us. In the confusion, we scattered. And one by one were told to get in the boat.

We knew he was serious, and that we were somehow in trouble. Yet, we couldn't contain the laughter as we struggled our dripping bodies over the edge of his boat and he watched sternly, offering exactly zero help.

As he steered the boat off to the side of the shore, he snapped in his heavy southern draw, "I'd wipe those smiles off my face. I ain't no park ranger, I'm with the state!"

He directed us to a long wood-plank bench, and pulled us aside in two groups: The two seventeen-year-olds who were ticketed as adults, then the three of us who were fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen (children, by law) and got off with a warning.

For what? Up until our lecture, for the life of me I did not know.

It turns out that right where we stood discussing whether or not we should make the swim was an over six-foot-high sign clearly stating not to cross beyond the ropes. He told us stories of teens that think they're clever and die trying to swim across a lake.

He was sure to drill the point home: This little adventure could have cost us our lives.


It might seem obvious, but it wasn't to us.

When you face challenges along your epic beginning, consider their source. It's worth asking, and maybe even looking around for a sign of warning. But it matters who it's coming from. Because, remember, God's calling might look a little dangerous to some.

Bring your challenges, your roadblocks, before Him; if He says "go", then carry on. Our challenges are no match against His calling in our lives.


Answer in the comments:

Do you know the difference between real danger and excuses? Let's put it this way: Most of us see far more excuses than we'll ever see danger.

Day 15 of 31 Lessons from an Epic Beginner