As one who taught life saving and served as a water safety instructor for ten years, and as one who swims around our little lake most days during the summers, I thought we’d do okay at the Devil’s Pool. Alan wasn’t going to go at all, but he did sign up at the last minute—mostly in hopes of keeping me from drowning, I think. We did survive, but after thinking it over, I personally feel that the adrenaline rush and excitement wasn’t worth the risk to life, limb, and health. Here are my reasons:
1. We had to swim in the Zambezi River,
where I’d seen hippos and crocodiles upstream.2. Even though there had been a twenty-year drought and we visited just before the rainy season began, there were all kinds of safety issues. 3. There was a definite current to negotiate. 4. We had to walk on somewhat slippery rocks to reach the river. 5. We had to feel our way over slippery rocks under the water
for part of the time. 6. We also had to swim upstream (up river) for a short distance. 7. Logs or other debris could have hit us at any time. 8. Fish nibbled at our feet and made us all jumpy. 9. One false move could have sent one of us over the edge. 10. The rock ledge, though sturdy, will doubtless one day give way. May it not happen when anybody’s nearby!
(That was the #1 reason our tour guide didn’t want to try it.)
11. Last, but perhaps most importantly (and I didn’t know this until we were having dinner a week ago with some friends who do medical mission work in Africa), the Zambezi River is known to have a strain of parasitic Schistosomiasis which is a common in Sub-saharan Africa and can be lethal if not treated. There are some 200 million people affected world wide, half of whom live in Africa. Since learning this, I’ve made an appointment with my doctor for testing. So, to answer my question: Did the Devil Make Me Do It? No. I chose to do it. Was it a wise choice? I don’t think so. Would I do it again? No. Did I pray about it? Yes. Why didn’t God tell me not to go? I’m not sure. I think sometimes God allows us to do things that aren’t wise, just like a parent allows his child to do things that the parent knows are risky. I do believe in God’s divine will (which cannot be altered) and His permissive will (which allows us freedom of choice). I prayed and didn’t get a clear “No,” so I went. And, as with all unwise decisions, there may be consequences I didn’t consider when I made my choice. In future, I think I want a clear “Yes” before making decisions, not just a “You may!”
“Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him” (Proverbs 26:12)