Sunday, June 7, 2009

I mentioned back in April the great times I had when I was younger Scuba Diving in Mexico. Those were some really good times with one really notable exception. As I mentioned in a past blog, on one dive there were three of us sliding into the water off these rocks. We had to go around this point here to the left and head for the sandy beach exit a few hundred yards away. The water was maybe 30' deep most of the way with plenty of canyons and sea life to keep it interesting. My bil Dave and his friend Rick were interested in taking pictures while I was more interested in spearing dinner. Visibility was only 20 feet so we should have stayed together. Problem was they were scaring all the fish out of range. Who knew Fish were camera shy? Anyway I took a small but deep side canyon and broke a few urchins with the handle of my Hawaiian sling spear and hid behind a rock. In a matter of seconds fish were everywhere dining on the urchin and I speared a few. Meanwhile, Dave and Rick got lost. That may not be their opinion, but this is my blog. I surfaced to try to find them, but no luck. Since it was kind of choppy I took a heading and dove back to the bottom to head for shore about 300 yards away. That's when I discovered the thrill of flight! The surge of the incoming waves propelled me forward in the direction I wanted to go and by simply tilting my fins up or down I was literally flying underwater. It was the most incredible experience and the closest I will ever get to flying, considering I would never consider getting out of a prefect good airplane until it came to a full and complete stop! It was so much fun that did not realize that I had traveled the 300 yards without swimming a stroke....until the ground suddenly came up and I found myself body surfing in the curl of a wave 20 yards off shore. The wave flipped me over on my back, stripped off my mask and snorkel and wedged me into a crevice under water between two boulders. My air hose was pinned beneath me and it was in in the days before the quick release double straps. The release was like the old fashioned seat belts that fed the extra webbing through the buckle of my right shoulder and looped around my left shoulder. I could not escape the tanks and was trapped under maybe 3 feet of water. I could get my hand out of the water, but not my head. We were in a bay so the waves were fairly well separated, somewhere between 30 seconds and an eternity apart. I realized that if I did not inhale water, the cold temperature (low 50's) could keep me revivable for 30 to 60 minutes. I fought back the panic that I really wanted to embrace, it being a prefect opportunity for panic, and held my breath. As the next wave drew up the water around me to thrash me with, I got a quick breath of air, screamed loud enough to be heard by the dead and deaf, grabbed another breath and was pummeled by a wave with a very bad attitude. That process repeated itself three times when I saw Dave and my 2 other bil's jumping off the rocks to rescue me. For whatever reason the tank popped free from that last wave's beating and I stood up to tell my would be rescuers I didn't need their help now. Actually I still did. Evidently oxygen deprivation turns your legs momentarily to jello. The verbal beating from my bil's made the waves feel like a resort massage in comparison, but it was all in frantic love. I'm really glad I can (could at the time) hold my breath for a long time, but ordinarily, I'd rather not. These days I limit it to more pleasurable endeavors, like trying not to laugh in church at what one of my grand kids just did...that sort of thing. I was reminded of this story while reading William Law's observations on perpetual inspiration and perpetual respiration. Will observed that everyone knows they cannot hold their physical breath very long without gasping for air. It is like living with acute asthma . No one wants to live that way yet we try to live our spiritual lives with INTERMITTENT INSPIRATION from the Holy Spirit. That is the equivalent to holding your spiritual breath as long as you can and then taking a gasp of air, only to hold it again for as long as possible, being pummeled by the waves of life until desperation demands another spiritual breath. Having tried it in both worlds, I can testify to the stupidity of intermittent inspiration or intermittent respiration! My friends, take a deep breath and keep on breathing. There is actually MORE pure spiritual air available than there is physical air. Take LONG Deep Breaths of each and keep on breathing!

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