A few months ago my family and I visited 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 nephew David - the designated 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 and 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 one 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 our grumpy acquaintance escaped unscathed. 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 more wise. Pride puts my selfish ideas and desires ahead of God and His direction. Pride puts me on the dangerous side of the lake.

What side of the lake are you swimming in?

Ask yourself...

  • What benefits does my pride keep me from?
  • What perils does my pride expose me to?
  • Is the water that much better on the contaminated 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

Author's Bio: 

Humorist Will Rogers once observed, "There are three kinds of men - ones that learn by reading, a few who learn by observation, and the rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves."

Though he has never braved a real electric fence, Larry understands the above metaphor all too well. His life is more a series of clumsy learning experiences than a polished "how-to" manual.

Remarkably, God has called Larry to share these slices of imperfection and accumulated wisdom with readers from over thirty countries around the world - those fortunate souls who prefer to learn through reading and observation.

Larry's first book, Get the Prize, was published in 2003. He is currently writing his second book, expected to be released in 2010.

He lives in Canada with his wife and four children.

Click here to visit larryhehn.com