Pride: Wrong Side of the Lake

by Larry Hehn on August 28, 2011

prideEvery Sunday in August, September and October I’ll be tweaking and sharing some of my favorite blog posts from the early days of Christian in the Rough – when the proverbial trees were falling in the forest but there was no one around to hear them.

It’s my pleasure to share them here again…for the first time.

Every year my family and I visit the beach at Christie Lake Conservation Area for a day of rest and relaxation. The people at Christie have installed a special screen that allows them to chlorinate part of the water and keep it separate from the rest of the lake. Swimming outside of this designated swimming area could pose a health risk, and is prohibited.

Of course, we didn’t know that until my wife and my nephew David – the family rebels – decided to test their endurance by swimming beyond the screen to the other side of the lake and back.

As they returned from the other side, a pleasant young lady in khakis walked down to shore and called them in. She politely explained how the screen works, how they test the swimming water daily to ensure its safety, and how the outside water could be contaminated and unsafe. Monique and David apologized and promised to stay on the safe side of the screen.

Less than an hour later, a grumpy old man also skirted the safety screen and started swimming laps, back and forth, along the opposite side. Again, one of the conservation workers – and several other people in the water and on the shore – tried to get his attention to warn him of the hazard and ask him to return to the chlorinated side of the lake.

Nothing seemed to catch his attention until my brother-in-law Chris swam out to the barrier and flagged him down. Even though Chris kindly explained the rules of the park and the potential health hazard, the old man rudely told him to mind his own business and continued his swim for another half an hour.

Thankfully, neither Monique nor David suffered any ill effects from swimming in the untreated water. I’m not sure if Mister Grumpy Pants fared as well. However, I do know that his pride set him up for a potentially big fall. It was easy for me to recognize, since pride is probably my biggest stumbling block as well.

Pride makes me always have to be “right”. Pride keeps me from acknowledging my faults and asking for forgiveness. Pride keeps me from seeking advice from others who are probably wiser. Pride puts my selfish ideas and desires ahead of God and His direction. Pride puts me on the dangerous side of the lake.

Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. – Proverbs 16:18

God opposes the proud but favors the humble. – Proverbs 3:34

What side of the lake are you swimming on?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Juan Cruz Jr August 28, 2011 at 10:04 am

Larry, I can honestly say that I swim beyond the screen every once in awhile. This is certainly an area, that although I am much better at, I do struggle with it. It’s hard telling my flesh to stay in control, and not let pride rise up. There are physical manifestations of pride and I make every effort to be self-aware as much as possible and bind it. God Bless.
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Larry Hehn August 28, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Me too, Juan. It’s great to have others in our lives who will lovingly tell us when we’re on the wrong side. Sometimes it’s hard to tell on our own!

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Brandon August 28, 2011 at 9:34 pm

cool stuff!

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Larry Hehn August 28, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Thanks, Big B!

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