Shark: Fear and beauty.

It was my birthday a few weeks back.

Thank you for remembering.

One of my presents was a fantastic photographic book by Jean-Marie Ghislain entitled: “Shark: Fear and beauty.” In the introduction he talks about swimming with two Great White Sharks, a feisty small male and then a five metre female that he played with for over an hour, patting her on the nose as she followed him towards the surface and back down again (see the picture)!

The following paragraph grabbed me and could apply to us in these final few key matches of the season:

“Did I need courage? I don’t think so. You can dive up to certain limits without risking your personal safety. But a solo journey imposes tough demands: you have to have the capacity to live your own life without crutches. My solitude taught me how to live, to understand how much we are part of a whole, and to perceive the ties that bind us to creatures that are so different from us. These ties are fragile, indefinable, yet we can begin to perceive them by swimming with them. Sharks are capable of teaching us vital lessons. In the cruel world of the sea, there is no room for pride; only survival counts. If you have to lose a power struggle, then so be it – you just have to leave the arena. If you are not totally focused on the immediate task at hand, or if you are not completely relaxed when you enter the water, then these encounters can become very dangerous.”

“There is no room for pride.”

In our personal lives…

In the church…

In our communities…

If we “stay in the arena” because of pride “these encounters can become very dangerous”.

Are you facing a situation at work, home, church or socially where pride is warping your vision of what is really happening.

Maybe it is best to walk away.

In Philippians 4:5 Paul wrote to the early church: “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”

If we are aware of God’s present nearness to us we will walk away when tempted by pride and instead be gentle.

After all, who wants to be eaten by a shark?

Yours because of Jesus – Neil.

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