Thursday, January 09, 2014
This is the Air I Breathe
My son and I had the wonderful opportunity to do an "Intro to Scuba" dive while in Kailua-Kona over the Christmas week. We booked with Kona Honu Divers and Terri was our instructor. We were in a small group of three and did two dives, the first to 30 feet depth and the second to 40 feet. The scenery was magnificent, the crew very professional and efficient and our instructor was highly experienced and very attentive.
I was anxious the night before and during my descent. A friend who was a very experienced diver had lost his diving companion a year ago in an unexpected equipment malfunction that blocked the airflow. This was heavy on my mind. I knew the risks for us were small, the equipment well-maintained and help right beside me. I felt the fear and did it anyway.
The biggest rule I'd been told was "Remember to breathe." As I was introduced to the equipment pre-dive and began to practice breathing through the regulator on the boat, I found it an odd sensation. The air barely trickled in. When you can't breathe, nothing else matters.
"I'm not getting very much air," I complained.
"It's on-demand," came the reply. "You'll get as much as you ask for. It depends on how hard you inhale."
I sucked harder and, sure enough, had a full free flow of as much air as I needed. Good to know. It was something that suddenly dispelled my anxiety, as I realized I could control my air intake. It also helped to note that each of us was equipped with two regulators, so if one failed, the second one was available. With four of us and two regulators each, that gives eight opportunities to get air in a worst-case scenario.
We were given instruction on the trip to the dive site and tested on our skills at the surface before our descent. I was the last to descend and took longer because of the need to allow my ears time to adjust to pressure changes. The second dive should have been easier but I had more difficulty with my buoyancy compensator and unintentionally floated to the surface once despite my adjustments. The rest of the dive I struggled with maintaining the right level in my BC so I couldn't really relax and enjoy the surroundings until the very end.
I think about the beautiful song, "This is the air I breathe... Your holy presence living in me." To inhale God's spirit is also on-demand. He is ever present, living in me, but I must be open to this presence, the filling, the on-demand life, asking for, taking in, trusting and receiving all I need for the task at hand.
Lord, let me breathe you. Always, only, ever, taking in all you are, allowing you to fill me with your presence, keeping me breathing, keeping me level, surrendering and relaxing into the adventure so I can explore new depths with You.