BY: GREGG CLARKE
BIBLE TEXT: ”…I have never stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you wisdom to see clearly and really understand who Christ is and all that he has done for you. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can see something of the future he has called you to share. I want you to realize that God has been made rich because we who are Christ’s have been given to him! I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great his power is to help those who believe him.” – Ephesians 1:16-19
PERSONAL REFLECTION: Believe it or not I love to swim, and I’m actually a very strong swimmer. Obviously, due to my girth, I am not very streamlined so I am not a distance swimmer. Michael Phelps, I am not. I am sort of like that rickety old barge you see on the Cumberland getting in all the boats’ way as they try to maneuver around, but continues to be in the way by putting out a large wake. Nonetheless, within the past couple of years, I became a certified scuba diver — by far one of the coolest decisions I ever made. Last year, I was fortunate enough to be in Cozumel, Mexico and was on a dive. For the record, I am certified to dive to 60 feet in depth. Well, being one who typically follows the rules, especially when it involves oxygen and breathing underwater, when our dive master said we were going to go down to an underwater cliff. I said, “I’m in!”
We started to make our decent, and I began to see the “swarms of living creatures” God mentions in Genesis 1:20-21. Among many other thoughts in my mind like trying to stay buoyant (level), pressurize my ears, and BREATHING UNDER WATER, I began to notice the true beauty of the ocean. As we continued to descend I started to marvel at the cliff and the animal life it contained. I literally felt the smile on my face as we continued down. Well, I looked at my depth on my computer and were approaching 100 feet in depth. Needless to say, I/we were far deeper than we had ever been or certified for. Being at that depth opens another set of risks, like RUNNING OUT OF OXYGEN before we reach the surface. At that depth we had to stop twice at different depths before we could return to the surface to depressurize or, simply said, we could die. Anyway, I looked down at the cliff and couldn’t see bottom, just the abyss (yes, I used “abyss” in my story). I looked up and could not see the surface (eerie feeling). That’s when it became real! Next thing I knew, we were swimming steadily at 130 feet. At that moment and depth I began to soak (no pun intended) it all in. I noticed God’s true marvel of creating the seas and what it contained. I also thought about how vast God’s hand was in creating such a beautiful earth, above and BELOW the sea. It was one of those things that (almost) bring tears to your eyes.
I know that we have seen more of the moon’s surface than we have the bottom of the oceans, and here I was at 130 feet relishing in God’s handy work. I looked down and realize it’s time for me to make my slow ascent to the surface. When I finally broke the surface, I realized I had about another 2 minutes of oxygen left (another story for another day).
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Do I think that others on our dive were thinking the same thing I was? No, not really, but I know that after witnessing and seeing some of God’s beauty, there is no telling what I have not seen in life. I have been blessed to witness my wife and daughter gives their lives to Christ and be baptized — by far, one of the most beautiful things I have witnessed — and I know He is not done with me yet. As Andrew Wharton can attest, something as small as rock has the semblance of something great from His hands.
PRAYER God, I pray that others and myself do not miss the beauties of life around us and Your creation that we take for granted. I pray that You continue to show me the beauties in my life and of this world and not look past YOUR greatness.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
What I am NOT: an author, bull fighter, skinny, super hero, chef, crocodile hunter, monster truck driver, or distance runner (to name a few).
What I am: Christian, loving & faithful husband, father and friend, Navy Veteran, chicken wing eating aficionado, dog lover, notary public and once again, certified scuba diver.