19 September 2017

Scuba Divers Perish 10 Feet From Safety

Ginnie Springs


Never, never, never give up. You may be
10 feet from your saving light.

When I moved to Florida many years ago, I took up scuba diving. My scuba diving home was a place called Ginnie Springs in north central Florida. I use the story of my first trip to Ginnie – and the sheer terror I felt on my first dive into the spring – in some of my teaching to describe what an empowering experience it was to conquer my fears and expand my comfort zone.

A few years ago I had the pleasure of taking my kids to Ginnie for some snorkeling. We were on the way home from Tampa after a five-day cruise to celebrate my parents’ anniversary.

I love scuba diving because it is an extra-sensory experience. Most people know about the feeling of weightlessness. Light does interesting things. It doesn’t diffuse very well; that is, it doesn’t bend around corners. Reds fade to gray at a depth of 30 feet; other colors melt away as depth increases and at 120 feet everything is gray. To be weightless and in pitch black on a night dive is very disorienting.

One thing that blew me away was the fact that you can’t sense a person who is just inches away. I lost my dive buddy one time; I looked left, right, forward and backward and couldn’t see him. I thought about how much trouble I was going to be in because I lost my dive buddy. Making just the slightest movement toward the surface, I bumped into him. If he had been that close to me on terra firma, I would have felt him breathing on my neck.

Scuba divers perish 10 feet from safety.

Back to Ginnie Springs. In addition to the spring for which the park gets its name, there are two other springs there, Devil’s Eye and Devil’s Ear. These two springs are less than 100 feet apart; it’s well known that a cave connects them. In spite of repeated warnings of the imminent danger, a few untrained divers have attempted to traverse the underwater cave. You’ve probably guessed by now that some don’t make it.

One of my instructors, Steve Straatsma, was one of three or four people in Florida who recovered bodies from caves. One night he was telling us about the last extraction he’d done. It was a father and son. When they gave up hope of finding the exit, the father wrote a farewell note to his wife on an underwater tablet. Steve said the amazing thing was that they were 10 feet from daylight. If they had only looked around the next corner, if only they hadn’t given up hope.

Don’t perish 10 feet from your next job.

Being in a job search is an extra sensory experience too. Maybe you feel weightless – or maybe you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. Perhaps everything is gray and melancholy for you, or maybe even pitch black. Maybe you can’t feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, even though he is breathing on the back of your neck. Maybe you feel like you’ll never find a job.

Friends, don’t give up! Never give up hope. Your next job may be 10 feet away, even though you can’t see it. Take Steve’s advice and look around every corner. When I experienced disappointment and frustration with my job search in September 2000, my friend Fred Fratto reminded me that it’s always darkest right before the dawn. He was right; 30 days later I had the first conversation that led to me accepting a great position with a leading training and consulting company.

Light dawns in the darkness.

You have the Light of the World (see #10 below) shining on your face; when you trust Christ to be your guide, you will never walk in darkness – you will have the Light of Life before you. Here are just a few verses concerning darkness and light:

  1. Psalm 112:4 – Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. (Contemporary English Version)
  2. 2 Samuel 22:29 – You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light.
  3. Psalm 27:1 – The LORD is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?
  4. Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
  5. Isaiah 9:2 – The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.
  6. Isaiah 42:16 – I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.
  7. Micah 7:8 – Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.
  8. 1 Peter 2:9 – But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
  9. 1 John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
  10. John 8:12 – When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

See you on Friday at JobSeekers, where we step out of the darkness and into the Light!

Copyright © 2017 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

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