To me, it always seemed like God was a public pool lifeguard, and he didn’t care that much for the pool or his job and some days he was tempted to quit when old women hit on him and toddlers took dumps in the chlorine.
He would occasionally remove the leaves and say yes to a few prayers just so everyone would know he was doing his job, but other than that he would sit back and reminisce about the good times while listening to the Eagles or Point of Grace, trying to tune everyone out because our voices annoyed him.
I figured God must be pretty tired of being bear foot on wet floors covered in snot and urine; I would be too if the entire world were peeing in my pool.
I figured he would see me and think about how I could have more muscles if I tried harder. Or he would yell at me to walk if I started running on the pool deck. I was afraid to get too excited because I didn’t want to get carried away.
It felt like the world was just slowly decaying, like the water was growing green at the edges from algae. Like the sun only rose every day because the filter hadn’t finally gotten clogged by a faulty toupee or something.
But then I started reading and praying and learning and hearing that God was not the public pool lifeguard at all. That he was more likely the one running across the deck to get to the high-dive.
I learned that the world was created by God and is still beautiful. It’s broken, sure, because of sin and the apple and the serpent and all that, but it is still beautiful.
God’s not waiting for the earth to keel over and die, he’s not distracting himself by reminiscing of the good old times with Moses; he’s actively involved in bringing redemption wherever possible.
I think he created the world for us to be in awe. He stood on the high dive of creation, looked at the darkness and chaos below him, and took two huge bounces (one to prepare and one for fun).
Then he dove into the world, separating light from dark in an elegant twist, creating land and the sunrise and the moon with one flip, and topped it all off by creating us with a splash that erupted eternity in breathless awe.
Then he swam to the side, pulled himself up on the deck of heaven, and said, “It is very good.”
Now, all this earth-time later, I no longer think God is just a disenchanted lifeguard annoyed with creation. I can’t look at a sunrise and not be amazed. And that amazement can’t be something I created. It has a different fragrance about it, something holy and righteous and good. And trust me, my fragrance, on my own, is not holy or righteous or good.
I think everyday God stands on a high dive just before the sunrise, he takes two huge bounces (one to prepare and one for fun), and launches into the air. He hits the top of his arc and the sun peeks over the horizon. With one twist, the first ray bounces over treetops like a stone skipping water. He flips and the clouds turn pink.
And then a moment of awed silence.
He hangs in the air before splashing through the surface, throwing an entire pallet of sunshine on the world under it.