Monday, January 12, 2015

What Does Going Deeper Look Like?

The waves rose in rounded swells, making the small boat rise and fall as we worked our way out to open sea. Just a handful of scuba divers were on this outing. 

We had spent days lounging on the turquoise crystal blue beaches, famous in this area and snorkeling the calm shallow waters inside the massive reef system. The stunning underwater world of corals and seagrass were just as breathtaking as the travel brochure had promised. 

On this day, however, we were heading out for open water on the other side of the reef. It was a completely different experience. One that I was personally unprepared for.

With full wet suits and air tanks, we each took turns holding our breath and taking the plunge into the cool Caribbean water.

Upon entry, there is an equalizing of weight and adjusting equipment. Moments when you are engulfed in the salty water as it trickles into each crevice of the wetsuit. Next comes the adjusting of the face mask and clearing the regulator to get the fresh air streaming in, exhaling out, and being enveloped in the bubbles before they rise to the surface.

It’s a strange transition.

A beautiful miracle how you can move from the land where you breathe without thought, to entering this immersed environment where you are completely aware of the sound of every inhale and exhale.  

You have to learn to move in slow motion. You don’t walk vertically, you propel yourself horizontally. You adjust to this foreign habitat and the weightlessness of being buoyant.

And everything is magnified.

You hang suspend in silence and the beauty that can’t be rightly captured with mere words.

My dive partner was a woman I had only met on this trip.

Even though she was thirty years older than me, I found her to be fun, adventurous and kind.

But on this day, the open water felt overwhelmingly large and deep and wide. 

My dive partner must have felt it too. 

She didn't reveal that until we were forty minutes into the dive and over 90 feet below the surface of the water.

That is when she panicked. And panic doesn’t mix well with deep water.

She began her ascent to the top. The number one rule of having a diving buddy is to stick together so, I followed. 

When our heads popped above the surface of that vast body of water all we could see... was more water. 

We strained to see our boat. We struggled to ride the swells, our bodies being carried along, first low and then lifted. When the boat was spotted it looked like a dot on the horizon. And if the boat was a dot then we were a speck. 

Her panic caused her to hang on to me, grabbing for my air regulator even though her equipment worked. We were both struggling to survive. 

It’s hard to talk or reason with words in a sea of water. All I knew to do was to start moving toward the thing that could rescue us. 

I remember wondering if we would make it. 

To be honest, I have no memory of how we actually got all the way back to the boat.  I only know that suddenly the crew members were yelling for us to grab the life line. 

Once on board, sitting, with arms wrapped around my shaking knees, the reality of what we had just lived began to set in.

Something about the vastness of water, the depth of it, the height of the swells, the expanse of endless sky above us and the distance to the boat on the horizon. Well, it put a few things into perspective. It made me think that something, Someone, much bigger existed.

It would be another decade before I would cry out to God and ask Him to save my soul, but I believe that day as the waters were overtaking me, He cupped me in His hand and spared me. 

And in sparing my life, He revealed some of Himself to me. 

This story has not only became part of my story, I think it was part of what changed my story. 


So I'm embarking on this year 2015. 

It feels like casting out into the open surging sea of unknown.

It's a strange transition. 

I've felt engulfed by life, activities, and interruptions. 

But I remember that when I find myself being tossed on the waves of life, it tends to strip away the fluff and the unnecessary. 

And all I have to do is move toward the One who saves. The one who is changing me. The God who embodies wisdom, knowledge and riches. 

Perhaps my prayer and what 'deeper' means to me, is to delve into things that few people step out to uncover. 

I  want more of the deep things of God. 

Like open water diving, I want to explore places rarely seen, take the plunge and discover where true treasure lies. I want to be brave and move into the places God is taking me and rest in the fact that He. Is. In. Control. 

I want to be passionate, authentic, transparent and move into the truly deep issues of the heart and tend to the hearts that God allows in my life. 

And I want to rest in the hands of the Almighty in my weaknesses and live like I know that this is really about His strength and not my strength and that it is all for His glory, not mine.

It could cause terror in my soul if I didn't know the One who, "gathers the waters of the sea into jars and puts the deep into storehouses. "

Since I do know Him, and He knows me, I'm casting out to the deep waters.

Where is the Lord drawing you to friend?


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© Rhonda Quaney