I wondered how much of our collective religious approach to God is an attempt to enjoy Him from the shore, to discuss the waves, make tide tables, run for safety in the storm, and dip our toes in the surf when the sun comes out. A good start, but the waves beckon us to plunge.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
into the deep
The first day we reached the ocean, we were too sick to do more than hear the waves. But by the second we could at least drag our selves down to the sand, lie in the shade of the mangroves, read, pray, rest, and watch the surf churning in and out. As beautiful as that was, it was not a real experience of the ocean. For that I had to get into the water, wade past the tangles of sea weed in the shallows and dive into the waves. Bob with the surge of the tide, taste the salt, and swim. Later we sailed and kayaked out further, dipping into the clear warm Indian ocean, exploring with a mask and fins, the mysteries of corals in the shade of passing clouds, the elusive flashes of fish, the waving invitation of algae. I love the ocean. There is a power there, an ever-changing rise and fall, an unpredictability, an infinity. Which is beautiful viewed from the shore, but that view from the safety of the sand lacks fullness and reality. It is safer to stay on the shore and admire, but much more memorable to dive in. And more risky.