Friday, May 24, 2013

Manta Rays in Bora Bora

I have recently returned from the picturesque island of Bora Bora in French Polynesia with Rodan + Fields Dermatology. I had shared some of my experiences and how they relate to my spiritual walk with many of my business partners and thought I'd share them with you as well.
One adventure in Bora Bora included a swim with the underwater sealife. Now, I'm NOT the adventurous one of this group. I'd much rather stay ON the boat and not UNDER the boat.

After a short lesson about what we would possibly see while underwater, I had convinced myself there was no way I could do it. I'm not an expert swimmer, especially when there's a tremendous current  (the worst the natives claim in 4 years), but I could certainly spout off the instructions the guide gave. I listened well, could recite word-for-word the instructions on watching out how deep you can comfortably dive without a tank, but there was NOOOO way *I* was going to dip in THAT water.

So a couple of us ladies decided we would cheer everyone else on and stay in the boat. But something began to happen. I watched as others, who aren't expert swimmers either, jump into the glassy blue waters and immediately pop back up. I heard the laughter, the fun, the comments like "Look what's under here! Oh my goodness!" The smiles of amazement were making me even more curious.

All I could think of was: Do these people know manta rays can kill you?! Finally, the guide looked up at me from the water and yelled out, "You don't know what you're missing!" I was content to stay on the boat and watch everyone else swim with the underwater creatures while I played it safe.
Have you been guilt of doing that in your walk with Christ? You long for the peace and joy you see your Christian friends living and you wonder, "Why not me?"

So after watching everyone else talk about what they were seeing and experiencing, the positive peer pressure got to me and I couldn't stand the thought of someone else having fun and fear talking me out of an experience. The guide grabbed my hand and down I went. A manta ray came up, blinked at me and acted like a purring kitten wanting to be touched again and again.

Fear isn't pretty. It's Satan's primary method of attack because he knows when you step out of fear, you step into faith. Psalm 91:3-6 says, "Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday."  Psalm 89:8 says, "O LORD God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness surrounds you."

When I got back in the boat, I was so glad that I got out of the boat. Listening to what I was supposed to do by the guide was a good thing; but actually DOING it brought me a sense of fulfillment that watching others do from afar couldn't match.

I asked the guide why the manta rays seemed so tame, friendly and didn't scare me? "They had their barbs pulled out years ago when they were babies. They can't hurt you." As it turns out, I was afraid of something that didn't even have the ability to hurt me at all.

Worry of the unknown gives small things a big shadow. Stop watching everyone else have the "peace that passes all understanding" (Philippians 4:7) and start taking a dip into the water yourself. Chances are, not only will you learn things about yourself that you never knew but your faith in God will increase in ways you never imagined....all because you got out of the boat.

(Barbie will be sharing a few more highlights of her trip to Bora Bora with Rodan + Fields Dermatology in the coming days.)

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