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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Spiritual Lessons From Shark Week

   Shark week. Every year it roles around just in time for beach baptism. I can hardly wait for two of my favorite things. I recollect several lobby conversations with Kevin Childs when the two overlapped. He had no problem telling me Chris Fallows of Air Jaws was "bat crap crazy". After finding out I had been shark cage diving with Fallows, Kevin had no problem telling me I was. Shark cage diving remains one of the most memorable events of my life.
    Rising out of South Africa's False Bay is Seal Island. It's nothing more than a rock with about 60,000 seals. 30 yards from shore is known as "the ring of death" where white sharks take seals.  Though gruesome, many of the predations are spectacular displays of great whites performing acrobatic full body breaches. It's truely an awesome experience that less than one hundredth of one percent of the population have ever had. It's also filled with symbolic lessons for believers .
     Safety is nothing more than an illusion. Dive equipment isn't infallible. The steel cage that keeps divers comfortable offers no real protection from the 19 foot sharks. Shark have penetrated cages and even sank boats. The only safe place is the rock. Even there, the seals fight among themselves. Interestingly, only those seals that get separated from their group get attacked. Usually, in the shallow waters near the surface. The best defense against the predators is to dive long and stay deep. Older, more experienced seals, scarred from battles with Great Whites, will teach some of the young this life saving technique.
    Likewise, the only security a believer can have is found on the rock solid foundation Jesus Christ. We shouldn't just stay comfortable thinking we are playing it safe. We are called out of the cage. Our best defense comes from diving deep and long into His word. A word that promises trouble in this life and anything but safety in complacency. We may argue amongst ourselves but we are less likely to become prey if we stick together. So, do not leave your group! Our job is also to teach the next generation. Few will experience what we have. We'll have the scars to prove it. When the wounds heal, they will just be a reminder of how wonderful it was even though it was scary.

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