Sometimes, you just have to say a prayer and jump in.
My friends and I were on a cruise around the West Indies islands not long ago when we signed up for a tour of lush St. Lucia. In the afternoon, our driver took us to a dock where we boarded a speed boat. The boat ferried us to a hidden lagoon nestled between two jagged black mountains. I gasped when it came into view; it looked like something out of a movie. It was pure paradise with sandy beaches, calm sapphire blue water and swaying palm trees. And what did I spy on the tiki hut nearby? A sign that said, “Rent Snorkel Gear Here.” Yes! Snorkeling is one of my favorite pursuits. There’s not much call for it in the flatlands of northwest Ohio, so when I get the chance to snorkel on vacation, I usually jump at it. My friend Rachel and I approached the young man who was handing out the gear. Hmmm. This was going to be different than my previous snorkeling experiences. He did not look like an expert deep sea diver. He did not offer any instruction. And the mismatched gear he was thrusting at us did not look like it had been, shall we say, appropriately sanitized. Or ever sanitized.
I threw caution to the wind, said a quick prayer, tossed $10 in the salesman’s bucket and geared up. Rachel, possessing a great deal more common sense than me, hesitated. I waded out and sunk into the pristine water. I was immediately greeted by a school of underwater inhabitants that I had never seen on any previous snorkeling trip. It was like swimming in the middle of a rainbow! I stood up and waved at Rachel, who was only knee-deep in the water. “Come in, come in!” I yelled. She pointed to the (yucky) snorkel and mask in her hands and made a face. There was no way that snorkel was getting close to her mouth. “Look down!” I pantomimed to her. She looked down at her feet and saw what I had seen—a moving, shifting rainbow of colors so amazing she couldn’t resist. In went the snorkel and in went Rachel. We spent an hour floating along the shore, quietly peering into a spectacular world we were unaware of just 60 minutes before. A world we could have easily missed if we had given in to our fears.
This little experience reminds me: There will be times when we won’t get good instruction and we won’t feel well-equipped and conditions won’t seem perfect, but something still tells us to take a leap of faith. Listen to that little voice, girlfriends. Say a prayer to help you get past the real and imagined obstacles and then move forward. Take a friend along if you can. Delightful surprises await all of us when we obey the nudges of the Holy Spirit.
Don’t give in to your fears. Say a prayer for courage and jump in. You’ll be glad you did.