During college, I was a lifeguard at the YMCA’s indoor pool near the campus. It was a great gig!
I didn’t have to worry about riptides, jellyfish, barrier reefs, tidal surge or any of the other challenges that “real water” lifeguards who worked bays or oceans had to deal with daily.
Don’t get me wrong, I had all the required training, swimming and safety skills needed to do the job including the requisite whistle – complete with lanyard for easy finger twirling.
I was a “real lifeguard” in every sense, even though the Olympic-sized pool was as quiet as a cup of Celestial Seasoning’s Sleepy Time Chamomile tea.
As a trained, aquatic lifesaving professional, I found that the key to a safe and quiet swimming pool was enforcement of the posted rules. Tangentially, we recently had a water baptism at our church which happens to have an H20 tank built beneath the floor of the sanctuary stage.
The baptism service was a wonderfully uplifting event, but the Jacuzzi-sized water tank awakened my inner lifeguard who got to thinking about some of the water safety rules that might be posted around a church baptismal tank. Here are some possible suggestions for consideration:
- No diving, cannonballs, horseplay, roughhousing or excessive splashing is allowed in the baptismal tank – however dunking is required.
- Appropriate covering must be worn at all times – while you don’t have to be robed like a Hebrew High Priest, you don’t want to be mistaken for Adam or Eve either.
- The water temperature of the tank should always be colder than 55 degrees – the cold temperature is guaranteed to douse any lingering embers of hell fire in your soul.
- The preferred cleaning agent of the baptismal tank should be bromine, since chlorine isn’t strong enough to clean the water of all the wicked residual sin left in the tank.
- While water shoes or flip flops are permitted to be worn in the tank, “Jesus sandals” are preferred since they’re a holier style of kicks.
- If a lifeguard (or associate pastor) is not on duty, enter the baptismal tank at your own risk – even though the water is usually only waist deep.
- Wait 30 minutes after you eat before entering the baptismal tank to avoid cramping – that is unless you ate communion wafers and grape juice, in that case any holy cramping would be acceptable.
- No life jackets, swim fins, water wings or aquatic noodles will be allowed in the baptismal tank.
- Be considerate of others, avoid yelling and loud noises – unless you’re overcome by the holy spirit.
- No vulgar or obscene language allowed – bro, you’re in a church getting baptized remember???
- No running near the edge of the pool so you don’t slip and fall – falling is only allowed if you’re “slain in the spirit.”