A friend of mine, Michael Chapman is going through a tough time right now – watching his mother die. She’s been whispering to someone while she’s in a out of consciousness over the past few days. Mike wrote a blog describing it and shared this quote:
In his book, Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC, Frederick Buechner says this about prayer: “Everybody prays whether we think of it as praying or not. The odd silence you fall into when something very beautiful is happening or something very good or very bad. The ah-h-h-h! that sometimes floats up out of you as out of a Fourth of July crowd when the sky-rocket bursts over the water. The stammer of pain at somebody else’s pain. The stammer of joy at somebody else’s joy. Whatever words or sounds you use for sighing with over your own life. These are all prayers in their way.”
What a beautiful way to describe prayer. It reminds me of Romans 8:26, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” He knows our hearts and hears our prayers even when they’re not spoken, but the even better news is that He “groans” for us too!! I also love the imagery of the phrase in the quote saying the . . . . . “that floats up out of you.” Could that be the Spirit at work within us? I hope so.
Sometimes I close my posts with a prayer. Today, I’ll just say that something seems to be “floating up out of me” as I think about Mike’s mom, Jan. Maybe that’s the best prayer I can offer.
Ever seen a movie or tv show where a drowning victim is discovered? You know that “dead man’s float?” Face down. Arms raised. Knees down. Can you picture it? That’s what Kasen (my 18-month-old son) looked like Saturday.
We were at the pool with his cousins Reid and Kallie. Kasen and Reid were playing in the kiddie pool and Reid playfully pushed Kasen. He fell in face first and did that dead man’s float. My son was facedown in the water with his arms bobbing above his head. I can still see his haor floating in the water beside his head. It couldn’t have been more than a second before Jared (Reid’s dad and Kasen’s uncle) and I were scooping him back up, but that image will be engraved in my mind forever.
After it was all over, Kasen just coughed once and wiped his face (like he does when he’s in the bathtub) like nothing had happened. He was fine, but daddy was changed. Daddy’s heart was racing. Mommy’s too. She had been sitting on the side of the pool and witnessed the whole thing too.
Anyway, all this got me to thinkin’. Kasen was clueless that his life had been threatened. (By the way, thank you God for that “hold your breath” instinct You placed in kids.) I wonder how many times I’ve been clueless to the real dangers in my life? How many times has God saved me from some unknown threat?
Prayer: Thank you God for Your protection – for the times when I don’t even realize You’ve gotten involved. For the times You’ve saved me from myself or some other unknown danger. Thank You for Kasen and for protecting Him Saturday. Help me to be a father who will in every way possible reflect You and Your character to my children. Allow me to protect them and to recognize that it’s truly a reflection of You and Your goodness – Your power. It’s the strength that You have given to me that allows that to happen. I truly want to honor You in all that I do. Help me.
Here’s a pic of my and my brother diving in Cozumel. I’m the one waving at the camera.
It’s been quite a while for me, but one of my favorite things to do is scuba dive. Quite a few years ago I went on a diving trip with Brenda (my sister), Roger (my brother), Kathy (My sister-in-law), and Kim (Kathy’s sister). Anyway, we went to Cozumel which is known for some of the best scuba diving in the world. The area surrounding the island is an international wildlife area or something so no fishing is allowed. Because of this – the fish and reefs are beautiful and full of all kinds of tropical fish. While there we saw lots of cool things. I swam just above the shell of a sea turtle. We saw sand sharks, eels, lots of cool tropical fish, stingrays, and lobsters so big that could pinch your head off.
We also went on a night dive – that’s when the lobster and other fish come out from their holes. Also during the night dive we wore glow sticks. That way in case anyone got lost everyone else could see ’em. Our dive master led us to an area near the ocean floor where we could just float – it’s called neutral buoyancy. Anyway, he took one of the glow sticks and cut it open and let the little droplets of glowing liquid float around us – pretty cool – it felt like we were in space. We were weightless floating around with glowing “stars” surrounding us.
All the dives in Cozumel are what they call “drift dives.” Part of the reason Cozumel is such a good place to dive is because the water has a current that naturally cleans the reef. This current can also be tough for a diver ’cause it’s hard to swim against. Due to this problem the dive boats simply drop you off in one area and then while you’re underwater, they follow your bubbles to know where to pick you up. As a diver it’s pretty cool cause you get to see the reef without working very hard (or using much of your oxygen) trying to swim around – you simply let the current carry you along the reef and try to swim to the areas that most interest you. On one of our dives I decided to completely surrender to the current. I spent those 40 minutes underwater focusing on praising God for His creation. It was pretty easy considering the things I was getting to see. Anyway, I wonder how my life would be if I completely surrendered to the currents that God blows my direction? Some might think a life like this would be out of control – maybe it is out of my control – but don’t you think God would still be in control?
I think about the opening scene of the movie Forrest Gump. The feather is blowing all over the place and finally settles on Forrest’s shoe. That movie is all about two things – 1. “Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re gonna get.” and 2. Lt Dan’s “Destiny.” Which is more descriptive of life? Happenstance or Destiny? I think the feather is the perfect answer – it’s both. What seems like happenstance to us can still be destiny to God. I wanna be a feather on God’s wind – by the way, Jesus describes the Holy Spirit like the wind. In the same way that I surrendered to the current while I was diving, I wanna surrender to the Holy Spirit each day. My life may seem out of control to you, but I’m gonna trust God that He knows what He’s doing.
Here’s a video from our Cozumel Scuba Diving Trip: