Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Floating On My Back

Well, dear friends, I'm still afloat. I feel a lot like I did when I almost drowned off the coast of Gulfport, Mississippi. A Seabee friend and I had gotten the bright idea of swimming to a little island about 1/2 mile out from the beach. I should have put bright in quotation marks. Actually, this adventure was probably one of the most idiotic ideas I ever had.

We had to cross a busy water channel to get to this island. My friend and I hadn't even considered that this waterway would be filled with boats, none of which would be able to see two little heads bobbing along. It's a wonder that we didn't have a propeller part our hair.

About halfway across, I got horrible cramps in both legs and started going down. I've always been a good swimmer and it never occurred to me that I would have any problems. I don't remember how many times that I went under, but I finally thought that maybe I could float on my back and catch my breath. That's not easy to do in choppy water. Obviously, I succeeded. After awhile my cramps went away and I was able to swim on to the island.

When we landed on the beach, we had quite a surprise. There were small dead stingrays everywhere. We looked at each other and both had the same thought. "Do we really want to swim back?" Since we had no choice, and after putting it off for as long as we could, we headed home. I know that every time something (or an imagined something) touched me, I cried out thinking that I had been stung.

Here's the lesson. There's a time to swim and a time to float. King Solomon said, "There is a time for everything...(Ecclesiastes 3:1)." The problem is that we don't always have the ability to pick the time. A depressive disorder can play havoc with your timeing. You may feel that you are adrift in choppy waters and at the mercy of forces beyond your control. It's a helpless feeling to realize that you will not be able to control your illness or the impact that it has on your life and of those who love you.

That's why I have given up control to He who is able to control all things. God has never failed me. I have never gone down "for the third time." With his help, I can make it. Without His presence in my life, I would soon be "food for the fish."

I may not be swimming, but I am still afloat.

["I'm so low I could do a ten minute free-fall off the edge of a dime."]

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