I took this picture last weekend as we arrived for breakfast at a favourite beach cafe. Life guards give you a small area to swim in but you know within those boundaries someone is looking out for you. You can swim, or as I would rather do body board, with some measure of security. I spend lots of time playing with metaphors and am pondering about this one. I am wondering if there are some who choose church because they hope it may be a place to come where someone is looking out for them – often a reciprocal activity. The metaphor doesn’t completely work as often lifeguards only intervene if they see you are in danger but often we are very good at concealing that from others. So I am going to spend some time thinking about what this might mean for me and how it interacts with some of my values around agency and autonomy. There are times when I ask someone how they are doing when I am not convinced by the answer and I do appreciate those who respond honestly. I am aware of one of mine at the moment and have shared it with some people and that helps me to be more mindful of it and to be realistic about where I am with it. However much I ponder you will definitely not see me running down the beach in a Baywatch type outfit!