Desert or Ocean? Does it really matter?

We were watching a clip from a survival video the other day in class that correlated with an article we were about to read.

In the clip, a man was retelling of his 76 – day experience of being lost at sea on an inflatable raft after his handmade boat had sunk.

In the video he made the comment that, “Ironically, the ocean is the world’s largest desert………no water to drink and no trees to shade you from the beating sun.”

We had a conversation in class about which would be worse, to be lost at sea or to be lost in a desert.

Students overall seemed to lean toward being lost in the desert, because the idea of drowning or being eaten by a shark on top of the lack of water and beating sun seemed worse to them.

We then read the story of this man’s survival using a contraption that heated the salt water enough to remove the salt, so he could avoid dehydration, and how his determination and positive attitude kept him alive throughout the 76-day nightmare.  You can read more of his story by Googling his name, Stephen Callahan.

 

As I reflected on that one quote from the video which compared the ocean to the desert, I realized that once again God gave us a message in the mystery of creation.

No matter where you find yourself in life, in the wilderness or the open sea, surviving alone is difficult.

We can learn from the times in our life when everything around us seems to be barren and dry; and we can learn from the times in life when we are surrounded by waters teeming with life.  In both places, there is potential for death and there is potential for life. 

Jesus overcame temptation in the wilderness.

And Jesus slept on and then calmed a raging sea.

Today, there are parts of my life that have a “wilderness” feel to them.  There are other parts that seem to lean more towards raging-sea experiences.

I am so thankful that Jesus came and experienced both the desert and the ocean and was victorious.

This gives me hope that I can do the same.

You can too!

What do we need to survive our wilderness and open sea experiences?

A positive attitude!

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Phil. 4:13

And determination!

I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or
that I have already reached perfection.
But I press on to possess that perfection
for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.

Phil. 3:12

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