The Jaws of

GW 3

The Jaws of                       August, 2017

The transition from Grande Island to Chiquita Island in Subic Bay the Philippines is an interesting  enigma.   The narrow, water-filled gap is less than 100 feet wide and only about three feet deep most of the time. It feels safe to cross.   Many fish under two feet long swim in it. However, the largest population is of baby sharks. As one walks through the strait they scatter, schooled that a faster moving foot in a sandal could be a threat.

On this day we were snorkeling, and I had my Nikonos underwater camera: I had already taken some great shots of the Chiquita coral reef. The incredible colors of the fish and the rocks, around which they swam, were intoxicating. My fellow sailors, Tom and Larry, we’re walking on the beach from the north end to the south, paralleling my water course 100 yards off shore.  This was not the shallows between the two islands. This was the ocean.

I was hovering on the reef edge of the drop down to deepwater; to my left was an area about 12 feet deep.  The water was crystal clear, and I could easily see a hundred feet in any direction. The 14-foot-long Great White was another seventy feet outside when he turned in my direction. A lot of things go through your mind at that moment. My brain told my hands, arms, feet, and legs to punch the shark in the face. Those limbs told my brain to mind its own business. The incredible beauty of the water, the opal blue sky, the palm trees, and the island itself were instantly forgotten.  It was all about the shark who wanted to know what I was doing in his territory. It was only about the shark.

I tell you this to help you understand just how different the spirit world is from what we call the real world . Now if that shark had been hungry I would not be writing this article for you. My hands and feet ignored my brain and covered the distance to a brain coral at Olympic-competition speed. Tom and Larry later said I threw a rooster tail. As I climbed on top of the brain coral, the shark cruised below me. It was a spiritual moment. The shark was very real to me. My fear was very real too.

The spirit world notices us and closes in for a look. We are swimming in the sea of that world where evil and the Trinity are swimming along with us. The spirit world feels fluid to me, more like the ocean than like the land. It touches me and my skin cells want to absorb it. I want it to consume me.   Sometimes a slight change in current feels like I have been brushed by an angel. Just as I am nearly helpless in the ocean with my cotton bathing trunks and little else, so it is in the spirit world.

If my mind cannot control my feet and hands and mouth, then I can get into real trouble. I sink or swim based on what they do. If I do not swim, I drown. An open mouth at the wrong moment and I can choke.   If I cannot float above the troubles that approach, I sink. Knowing the difference between a baby evil and a Great White evil makes all the difference. The speed at which I swim away from evil will determine the outcome. Should I be drowning or swept away, if I swim toward the light, I swim toward life. Not swimming is no choice at all, any more than ignoring the spirit world which surrounds me.

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