“Where will I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; If I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, If I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” Psalm 138:7-10
One of the tests I had to pass to obtain my diver certification was to completely remove my vest, which the air tank is connected to, keep the regulator in my mouth so I can breathe, then slide back into the vest and securely fasten it. Apparently this is helpful to know in case you get stuck underwater… you can extricate yourself from the vest and tank, then pull your tank free. I really didn’t plan to swim where I could get stuck!
All that sounded simple enough. But when you’re about 35 feet down where it’s cold, and your clumsy, gloved fingers don’t want to work… it’s quite a challenge. Not to mention the current continually wants to sweep you off your feet.
I had failed miserably at this in the pool… panicked, knocked my mask loose which then filled with water, breathed in thru my nose… good for fish, not for humans. I eventually completed it… but barely. Now I had to do it in the ocean.
Each dive student was tested individually on each skill. For each skill test a dive instructor was at my side and the dive master was in front of me. He knew I was scared.
As I tread water on the surface, he had me practice releasing and tightening the buckles on my vest without looking. He reminded me to take it slow. Under water he kept doing the two fingers from my eyes to his eyes… “look at me, look at me, eyes on me”.
It took awhile, and I got frustrated, but he would give me the “OK” sign. A loose seal on my mask kept letting water in. I’d have to stop and clear it. He’d give me the “OK” sign. He thought I was ok. I must be ok. I kept on. And got it done.
The sense of accomplishment, the exhilaration of that day still makes me smile. I’m reminded again that I can do a hard thing and complete it.
This past year has been a hard thing… I’m still here… I seek God every morning.
“keep your eyes on me”
I’m “OK”. I can do this.