going deeper

While on vacation recently my wife and I went snorkeling on a very popular reef in Mexico. It was great! The water was crystal clear and the reef was alive with all types of sea life. We encountered colorful fish, sea turtles, sting rays and even a small shark. The one down side was we were in between 25 and 40 feet of water; if I saw something of interest down below I would have to hold my breath and free dive as far down as I could go and, of course, only stay as long as I could hold my breath.

After a few minutes we encountered another life form – scuba divers. As I was swimming along the top I saw them down on the reef, moving along slowly, examining the coral and observing the animal life at a very relaxed pace. They were checking out every hole and ledge on the reef – places I didn’t have a chance of getting to. I was very jealous I was not with them on the scuba excursion. I made up my mind right then and there I would get my P.A.D.I. certifications renewed.

I was thinking this morning how well this illustration mirrors spiritual growth and maturity. How often I have found myself functioning at, what I considered at the time, a wonderful and fulfilling level of spirituality only to be reminded by Scripture, or the observation of a more seasoned believer, that God is calling me to go deeper in my relationship with him. Paul described it this way in 1 Corinthians 2:9, 10: “‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him’– but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.” We are encouraged in places like Ephesians 3:18 to explore the “depth” of God’s love for us.

However, like the snorkeler who wants to go deeper and spend longer periods of time under the water, the spiritual seeker is required to learn new skills and dedicate themselves to a greater level of discipline so that they too might experience the joy and satisfaction of “going deeper” with the Lord.


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