Programmes like ‘The Blue Planet’ and ‘The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau‘ introduce us to a world rarely seen by most peopole, the world of the oceans, the world of marine life. They provide fascinating insight into what goes on beneath the surface of the water.

I love the sea, and really enjoy visits to the coast, but I have to admit that I am not comfortable with diving below the surface. I’ve never been good at diving or snorkelling.

Such programmes remind me that there are worlds beyond life on solid ground and that it is good to understand there is more going on in our world than we can see normally with our natural eyes.

Life so often keeps us busy ‘on the surface’, dealing with the immediate needs: what to put on the table to eat, what to wear, how to pay our bills and keep a roof over our heads. The dominant voices around us yell imperatives at us on a daily basis: ‘Consume! Hurry! Buy! Don’t think! Don’t be quiet! And above all, don’t pray (except in emergencies.)’ (Eugene Peterson, ‘On Living Well’) It takes determination and strength to swim against this tide and to slow down enough to explore freshly the ‘reality beneath the surface.’ (ibid.)

I will soon be exploring a new coast (to me) in Norfolk, and I’m looking forward to the therapeutic benefits of sitting on a beach surveying the magnificence of the sea and reflecting on another world I rarely contemplate. Such contemplation in the spiritual realm needs to be a feature of my daily life if I am to live a counter-cultural life that honours God.