Swimming with Sharks

One time went sailing in the Virgin Islands with three close friends. We pulled up to a little island on the north end of Tortola to go snorkeling.

We were acting foolish that day and instead of putting down the ladder, we dove in backwards, Jacques Cousteau style.

When we got back to the boat there were two five-foot sharks beneath it.

I yelled to the others, “Sharks!” Then I stuck my face back in the water. Just to keep an eye on them.

Here’s what I learned. When you are swimming with sharks, the only think you can think about is how to get out of the water.

One big problem. We forgot to put down the ladder!

The deck of the boat was about four feet above the water line. Terry splashed wildly trying to climb the side of the boat. Ray tried to crawl up on the mooring ball. Scott grabbed the line attached to the mooring ball and tried to lift himself out of the water. The boat glided toward the ball and Scott sank his bottom into the water. I dove into the dinghy behind the big boat.

From the safety of the dinghy, I provided shark-sighting reports. “Ray, look out they are heading for you!” If you’ve never seen a grown man try to get himself onto a beach ball floating in the water you’ve never lived. Terry finally managed to scale the boat and let down the ladder. Ray and Scott would have to swim past the sharks and go up the side of the boat. It was pure comedy. I gave them a second by second report. “Look out they’re coming at you!” At one point I think Scott walked on water. When everyone was finally safe we looked at the boat beside us and they were howling with laughter.

Swimming with sharks is funny to everyone but you.

You might be there right now. The sharks are circling. Management is talking about layoffs. The credit people want a payment. The doctor’s report is due tomorrow. A teenage daughter is in rebellion. A close friend betrayed you.

Your life sounds like that line out of the Jimmy Buffet song, “Fins.”

You got fins to the left, fins to the right
And you’re the only bait in town.”

Let me remind you that someone bigger than a shark is in that water with you. Reach for his hand. He’ll lift you out.

That’s the good news. Now have a great day.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Great! So true!

    Thank you.


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