If God was the ocean, how well would you know Him?
For some, the sheer vastness of the ocean is so hard to comprehend. Instead of getting closer, they draw farther away trying to see all of it at once. Others may see glimpses between hills and trees. For those landlocked in their daily lives, they may never see or even think about the ocean at all.
Then there are those who want to experience the ocean. What does it feel like? What does it taste like? Can I go in it? Some may stop at the tide pools along the beach, just getting little experiences. Others will try and test the waters by walking in the gentle waves that lap against the shoreline; sometimes running away when the water seems to come in too deep. With more experience of the ocean and the waves, one can become a bit more confident and go in deeper: to the knees, then the waist and finally swimming.
Few souls are brave enough to answer the call to go deeper. What is below the surface? For those that suite up in scuba gear, a marvelous world will open up for them. They may try to describe it, they may take pictures, but they will never be able to truly pass that experience on to another.
I see the tide pool visitors as those who believe in God, but who only do what is “required,” like Mass on Sunday’s and holy days, confession once or twice a year and a few prayers when the occasion calls for it. Cracking open the Bible to read, attending a weekday Mass and praying morning and evening prayers are those getting their feet wet in the ocean of God. They experience Him in a personal way. Our faith may only ever call us to walk along the waterline. Or we may be called to walk in a little deeper. Saints, like Thomas Aquinas, who don the scuba gear, explore the depths of God, trying to bring us closer to Him with their writings and teachings.
I am fascinated with the idea of scuba diving, but the gear makes me claustrophobic. If God were the ocean, I wonder if I would be able to suit up appropriately, or would my fear hold me back from knowing Him more? Can I leave my comfort zone and put all my trust in Him to go deeper?
One very big difference between God and the ocean is the undertow. God will never force us under. He is the gentlest of oceans, constant in His love for us and calling us ever more to experience Him, personally.