The marina where we keep our boat had a summer kick-off event last Saturday. They occasionally have these events to show their thanks to the customers. I have a better idea of how they could show their thanks – not have these events and charge us less to keep our boat there.

This event had a pirate theme. The dockhands were dressed up like pirates, there was a giant inflatable pirate ship for the kids, and we enjoyed our “free” pizza (who knew there were Italian pirates?). It was actually nice and I do appreciate these events. We finished our lunch and listened to Jimmy Buffet on the loudspeakers for a little while as the girls entertained other families. The great thing about Jimmy Buffet is you could be in an Igloo at midnight and his music can make you feel like you’re on a beach in the Caribbean.

After downing our pizza, we headed out to one of our favorite beaches to swim for the first time this year. Olivia loves to swim and has nagged us to get in the water each time we’ve been out since March. It was a hot, humid day so I gave in.

I lowered the ladder and stuck my hand in the water. It felt comfortable. It’s amazing how the water temperature seems to drop about 30 degrees when your entire body is immersed.

Olivia got in the water and we stayed around the boat for a while to make sure she would be fine in the cool water. Of course, kids have antifreeze in their veins and could care less about the temperature of the water as long as they are swimming. I finally decided it was time to swim over to the beach and kicked my legs to begin swimming.

I wasn’t immediately sure what happened to my foot, but I knew it wasn’t good. It didn’t hurt that bad, but I knew something was wrong. I held onto the ladder for a while as I composed myself, and then climbed up to the swim platform. I knew my toe hurt, but didn’t know why. For a second everything looked fine… then the blood came.  Lots of it.

Apparently, when I kicked away, I kicked the boat propeller. It sliced between by big toe and my second toe on the top side of my foot. We were about 4 or 5 miles from our marina, we had both kids with us, I was bleeding, and Sara is not comfortable driving the boat (especially on a busy day like it was last Saturday).

Fortunately, Sara is a dermatology PA and is much calmer in these situations than I am. She stopped the bleeding and wouldn’t let me look at it. I took the boat back to the marina, docked it, and made sure all the covers were on and the lines were stowed neatly (I’m such an engineer).

Sara drove me to her office and stitched me up. She did a great job – I really couldn’t feel a thing. The girls were great too. Olivia knew that daddy got a bad booboo and took care of Amelia while Sara took care of me.

The interesting thing is I saw the whole thing coming. We were anchored in pretty shallow water, so I trimmed the drive up to prevent it from hitting anything on the bottom of the lake. This means that the part with the prop was tilted up as high as it would go. When I did this, I thought that I would need to be careful not to hit the drive unit while we were swimming–that is exactly what I did.

Many people generally regard King Solomon as the wisest man who ever lived. He once said, “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” (Prov. 27:12)

I saw danger, but I kept going… and I suffered for it. In this case, the extent of my suffering was only a few stitches and a sore toe, but our failure to take refuge when we see danger can have much greater implications.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be brave in the face of danger and cower away every time you get scared. The danger that I think Solomon is referring to is the danger of continuing to do something that you can see will have negative affects in the future–those things that, if you continue to do them, can destroy families, relationships, marriages, cholesterol levels, or your finances.

Maybe you’re just like I was in the boat.  You see the danger, acknowledge it, yet fail to seek refuge (do something about it). I can assure you that simply recognizing a danger is not enough. You have to do something about it… I have the stitches to prove it.

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