Swimming with the stingrays

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Recently, I went on a mission trip to Belize with 33 other folks from my church. We worked hard and had a great week.

After we finished our work, we had the option to go snorkeling on the last day we were there. When they told us about it, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to go. I tried to snorkel one other time when I was a kid. It wasn’t pleasant.

And to be honest, I was tired. I would have loved to just stay in the hotel room, play on the computer and sleep.

All that to say I wasn’t planning to go. But the leader of the group kept talking about how much fun it was going to be. And it occurred to me that it’s not every day you get the chance to snorkel near the world’s second largest barrier reef.

So, I went. It took me a while to get the hang of only breathing through my mouth, but it was a blast. We saw beautiful sea life and coral scenes that defy description.

On one of our stops, the captain announced that we were in stingray alley. When he stopped the boat, stingrays were swimming all around. When we got out of the boat, they were swimming right up against us. After a while one of the others got my attention and pointed toward a four-foot barracuda about 10 feet away.

Later I thought about how I almost missed all the fun. I reflected on how life is a lot like that trip. We can stay inside ourselves and not take any chances. Or we can live life and do things we want to do — memorable things.

I also thought about why I decided to go snorkeling. The main reason was the excitement in my friend’s voice when he described it. He had experienced it. He knew it was going to be unforgettable.

Think of the experiences you have that other people need. When you talk about something that’s made a difference in your life, don’t be afraid to let it show.

Steve DeVane

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