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Adrift

July 20, 2019 – Saturday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time

I.

On Thursday morning, I was lost at sea within 30 minutes of rising.

Rather, I could see the shore, but just had a hard time getting there.  The previous day I had been warned of a coming riptide, but I thought it would have already past, and I realize now that I was preparing myself for the wrong danger anyway.  A riptide is not the same as an undertow.

It was about 6:30 in the morning by the time I started thinking about heading back to shore and began getting a sense of how difficult that would be.  Too early for any lifeguards to be on duty—even if there had been one, I would have tried not to rely on him or her.  I can generally stay alive in the water, but am not a particularly strong swimmer.

My intuition told me to swim off to the side, which it turns out is good survival advice for riptides anyway.  The rocky reef projecting out into the sea may have normally meant danger, but I figured that if I could reach it I would have a means of working my way back to shore.

I never reach a point of fear or panic, but the thought of my mortality did occur to me briefly (it doesn’t take much).  Regardless, I survived.  What I lacked in skill, I made up for in sufficient reason and instincts to complement whatever physical strength I possessed. 

I made it back to shore, even though I was alone.

 

II.

On Thursday morning, I was lost at sea within 30 minutes of rising.

It was about 6:30 in the morning by the time I started thinking about heading back to shore and began getting a sense of how difficult that would be.  Too early for any lifeguards to be on duty—even if there had been one, I would have tried not to rely on him or her.  I can generally stay alive in the water, but am not a particularly strong swimmer.

While I was considering my options, I saw a skate flip by me in the water, which I thought was a stingray at the time.  Blacktip sharks apparently chase them up the Atlantic coast as they migrate northward during the summer.  I delight in God’s creation, and particularly when some creature grabs my attention in a special way, I thank God for the friend sent to me that day.

My intuition told me to swim off to the side toward the rocky reef projecting out into the sea.  I think it was artificially made since they seemed to appear roughly where I imagined property boundaries to be.  That I could use it to make my way to safety was thanks to God’s providence, human effort, or a combination of both.

Thanks be to God for the gifts I have been given that allowed me to use my surroundings to find my way to safety. 

I got back to shore.

 

III.

On Thursday morning, I was lost at sea within 30 minutes of rising.

I had passed one of my Marist Brothers sitting on a bench as I walked out for my swim.

He watched over me and even caught me on video.  Later in the day, another mentioned having seen me as well, and was elated because it reminded him of the risks he would have taken when he was younger.  I think at least one more said that he saw me as well.  I have no doubt that they prayed me back to shore, even when I didn’t know they were there.

What made me ever think that I was alone anyway?

We got me back to shore.

 

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Thank you for putting up with a repetitive post, but I saw value in looking at the same incident from different vantage points.  This week’s “ear candy” is something I can definitely relate to in this story, in others, and in the course of my life, and for once it is a song that everybody knows!  Try to pay attention to the verse lyrics if you’ve only ever sung along to the chorus, and the video is worth a watch too.  The “brain food” is a reflection from 2010 posted on the Psychology Today website about how much we all truly rely on each other after all.

 

Ear Candy: “Help!” by The Beatles

Brain Food: “Illusions of Independence” by Alison Bonds Shapiro

 

Come back next Saturday for a new post!

 

 Previous Posts:

 

2019

July 13 – Borders without Borders

July 6 – Little Bit at a Time

June 29 – Holy Dissent

June 22 – Old Kentucky Home

June 15 – Steamer Trunk

June 8 – Squad

June 1 – Legacy

May 25 – Live like You’re Loved

May 18 – Purity of Heart

May 11 – Builders and Creator

May 4 – Value Proposition

Apr. 27 – Vital Signs

Apr. 20 – Let It Be Real

Apr. 13 – Meet Self

Apr. 6 – Let Go of the Best

Mar. 30 – Thirst

Mar. 23 – Back Home

Mar. 16 – Say Goodbye

Mar. 9 – Garden and Desert

Mar. 2 – In Transit

Feb. 23 – Wealth

Feb. 16 – In Place

Feb. 9 – Each and All

Feb. 2 – Not Disneyland

Jan. 26 – Pilgrim People

Jan. 19 – Waking Dream

Jan. 12 – Called and Sent

Jan. 5 – Divine Encounter

2018

Dec. 29 -- Resolution

Dec. 22 – Room for Love?

Dec. 15 – Humbug!

Dec. 8 – Let It Begin with Me

Dec. 1 – Driven by Love

Nov. 24 – What Manner of King

Nov. 17 – Stranger

Nov. 10 – I Need Help to Be Holy

Nov. 3 – Fully Alive

Oct. 27 – Behind the Curtain

Oct. 20 – Questions. Answers?

Oct. 13 – Stumble & Fall

Oct. 6 – Young World

Sep. 29 – Defend Us in Battle

Sep. 22 – The Taste of Water

Sep. 15 – God’s Plan

Sep. 8 – Life Finds a Way