Lenten Devotion: Day 36

03.24.21 | Stories

    Fearless like Andrew 

    In September 2005, I decided after many years to finally take the plunge. I took an open water dive class through a local east county shop. I had been introduced to it in high school, but never took the full course. I was working two jobs at the time, so I figured it was time to do something I was fascinated with and had always wanted to do. The day came for our open water dives. Dive one was simple; swim down the line, become neutrally buoyant, swim around and take in the scenery. Dive two,  ah now,  that is where the fun started. We had to perform a series of skills; remove and replace your mask underwater, descend to no more than 40 feet and recover your regulator which simulated it being knocked out of your mouth, perform an emergency ascent from 20 feet and stay underwater for 20 minutes. No problem, right?

    Dive two started out with quite a bit of fear, and the necessity to be brave. Red tide conditions were in effect. The visibility had gone from an astounding 15 feet and murky to less than five feet. Black,  and hardly any visible light. If there was ever a Jesus walk on water moment, this would have been it. I quickly assessed my choices; I could abort the dive, swim as fast as I could to shore, and never go back to this silly idea of breathing air underwater,  an environment in which man is not supposed to survive. An environment where sea creatures eat you alive. Choice two was to swallow my fear, er I mean the lump in my throat. Choice two also realized the benefit of the $225 for the class I had plopped down plus the additional $250 for mask, snorkel, fins, booties and gloves. Being the fiscally prudent person I am, I went with Choice two. This would prove in later years as a dive instructor to pay forth dividends many times the amount I had spent on the class. So down I went to a depth of 20 feet and less than three feet of visibility. The dive was fine, nothing eventful happened; other than swimming around in a circle for 20 minutes, in less than three feet visibility, making sure you had a hold on the divers trailing depth gauge, or fin in front of  you. I was grateful I had swallowed my fear and did the dive. It was a testament to conquering one's fears. 

     “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7 

    Andrew Polster