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Scuba Diver

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Devotion

Underwater Identity Theft

By Jenn Rozendal
CBN.com Staff Writer

CBN.com -- In my endless quest for adventure, I decided to try my hand at scuba diving this weekend. It was one of those free introductory lessons guaranteed to get you hooked so you’ll spend the hundreds of dollars necessary to become a “diver” and earn the right to have a “SCUBA” bumper sticker affixed to your rear window. And I’m not too proud to say, it’s just about worked on me.

We entered the dive shop, bathing suits and towels in hand, and were greeted by our dive instructor. She was all of about 20, with the mindset to match. A student at a local university, she portrayed what one would expect of a girl fresh out of high school, trying to figure out her life purpose. Making conversation, I asked what she was majoring in. She responded by launching into a ten minute story of how she wanted to be a biology major but biology in college required that she learn the names of the parts she dissected, which was more knowledge than she felt she was capable of. Amidst that information, she shared the story of how she had met her boyfriend, or “other half” as she called him, listed all of the diving trips (in detail) she had participated in the last year, and the nuances of when and how she fell in love with scuba diving.

Now both my partner-in-adventure and I have a good bit of experience working with youth and were both Communication majors in college, so understanding the verbage of enthusiastic adolescent communication is not foreign to either of us. However, this was not the setting we expected to run across it and all we could do was sit and watch the introductory video she had started for us amidst her chatter and try to control our laughter at the situation. I’m sure curious thoughts of what I had gotten him into this time were flooding my friends’ mind, and we hadn’t even gotten to the actual diving part yet.

Once the video ended, we made our way to the heated indoor pool for our lesson and that was when the transformation occurred.

The change that happened somewhere between the dryness of the dive shop and the humidity of the pool room was profound. It was as if she was a completely different person -- confident, self assured, and calm once in “uniform”.

Now I can understand to a certain degree the change that occurs in my attitude when I am taking part in an activity I find exciting. Perhaps it was the adrenaline rush associated with being able to breathe underwater, or maybe it was just the really cool equipment strapped to my back, but I definitely felt “cooler” when I was dressed in all that scuba gear.

But for our instructor, it appeared to be more than just an “I’m passionate about what I am doing” thing … it was as if “scuba diver” was who she was. It was her entire identity.

It strikes me that this is so often what we do in life, whether recreational or professional. We strive to be known as “John the kayaker”, or “James the doctor”, and allow those characteristics to control who we are, our societal status if you will, rather than choosing to embrace the gift of “Matt a child of God” as our one true identity, allowing the likeness of Christ to be our foremost characteristic.

Romans 12:2 says,“Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”

There is nothing wrong with taking part in activities we enjoy and striving to do our best. The wrong comes when we allow those activities to dictate who we are and take top priority in our lives.

We are all ambassadors of Christ. That is our one true identity. Ambassadors make up a team devoted to doing the will of God, and God uses us each in unique ways, through unique circumstances. The challenge is to keep ourselves from getting caught up in the circumstances and instead set our sights on the bigger picture.

Philippians 3:14 says, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

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