Expectations VS Reality
By Christian Jagitsch
This summer, I worked as a lifeguard at Wewoka Woods Summer Camp in Wewoka Woods, Oklahoma. While there, I learned some valuable lessons. One of the lessons I learned was that expectation and reality are two different things.
Before I was allowed to start guarding, I had to complete a training course to ensure I was ready. In the class, I learned how to do many things like CPR, basic first aid, and rescue techniques that would be crucial to save someone. In training, I learned what I thought were specific steps for specific encounters. When I actually “hit the stand,” I quickly learned that life happens very differently than you expect. Although they were detailed rules for unique conditions, they were made to be moldable for more unusual circumstances. They weren't exactly one-size-fits-all.
It had been a normal day at the pool. Other than the fact that it was Camp Meeting this week, nothing unusual had happened. Two of our lifeguards were up on the stand while the rest of us were having fun swimming in the pool with the rest of the teens. Before we knew it, however, we had a semi-serious injury on our hands. Someone had fallen into the pool, splitting their lip and cracking their rib. I didn’t see anything
happening, so I was minding my own business when I suddenly heard another lifeguard yelling, “Backboard! Backboard!” Quickly, I rushed over to the scene, backboard in hand. I was ready to use the skills that I had learned in training to save someone. In the end, however, we didn’t use the backboard. The entire situation was different. Someone falling into the pool and cracking a rib isn’t generally something we see every day. In addition, the victim never called out for help during the whole ordeal. This helped me learn an interesting spiritual lesson.
In life, expectation is often very different from reality. As Christians, we expect life to be a continual kum-ba-yah experience. We think that devotions will always be great, church will always be a blessing, and people in the church will always be kind to us. That is the expectation. The reality, however, is very different. Most of the time, we barely get to crawl along at the bottom of the canyons. Devotions are dry, church is boring, and the people in the church are downright rude and aggressive. Now, back to my lifeguarding experience. Even though I wasn’t trained for that specific situation, I knew what to do when it came. That's because I learned training principles. These weren’t made-to-order rules. They were simply guidelines that were designed to help you rescue someone. Now, what if I hadn’t learned these principles? What if I had picked up that made-to-order stuff instead? I can guarantee that I wouldn’t have been ready for the situation.
In our personal lives, we should also be preparing ourselves with basic Biblical principles. These also usually aren’t made-to-order rules, but that's how they are so useful. You can apply them all over your life, so when you do experience those painful church relationships, you will be ready to take them on. Life rarely plays out how we want or expect, but if we have Jesus with us, who can be against us?