Who hasn’t heard that whistle blow and the lifeguard shout, “No Running!” As a parent it is easy to explain that running on the pool deck is dangerous simply because it is wet and it could cause us to slip and accidentally hurt yourself or someone else. As a child, though, we instinctively know that the shortest distance between the ladder and the diving board is a straight line and the best way to beat your friend and be the next in line is to RUN! Many times the policy of no running in life can get overlooked. We get excited and start to sprint to point B, but unfortunately in life we don’t have a lifeguard to holler out. It’s not that point B is a bad place to go, it’s that the rush and can mess things up along the way. An obvious example is in schooling, the five page paper needs to be done and so we rush. Then when the paper comes back with less than an A on it we are shocked! If we had slowed down and paid attention to our wording as we are told to pay attention to our footing we would have had a much better grade.
More importantly, though, it is key to pay attention to our footing in matters outside of school. We can tend to run into marriage, family, career, and countless other things. How often have we heard of the couple who has decided the end goal is marriage and thus meet and are married within 4-6 months. Then shortly after the vows they are saying things like, “Who is this person I married?” Then there’s the woman who knows her calling is to be a mother. She consequently pushes her husband to have a baby before their finances are in order and even before their relationship is strong and then as the children grow up the couple grows apart. We see young couples in great debt because they know point B is a house with a white picket fence and so they run from their apartment into the first house they can find using a large loan to get to point B as quickly as possible.
Just like the diving board is not a bad place to get to, point B in life is generally a good place to get to. Marriage, babies, a house are not bad destinations, but running there can cause unintended problems. It can cause great emotional, financial, and even physical pain. So, as your children are deciding what college to attend or what major to choose and you find them sprinting to that destination, you may want to give them a wise word of warning just like that call from the lifeguard, “No Running!” Show them it is wise to slow down, watch your footing and take each step carefully, rather than just trying to get there as soon as possible.