Recently, I took my middle son, Philip, on his becoming a man weekend. This post isn’t about what that weekend is about. That is for another post. But it was the context for one of my most profound worship experiences in a long time. Philip loves the outdoors and his desire was to snorkel in the Keys. Fortunately, we are only a 5 hour drive away. Long, but not too bad. I looked forward to the time with Philip and knew he would love kayaking and snorkeling. What I wasn’t prepared for was how this snorkeling trip would impact me.
The snorkeling guide facetiously apologized for the situations surrounding this trip. Visibility was nearly 100%. They called it a “Chamber of Commerce Day” – meaning that it was the best day in over a year and this is the kind of day when everyone takes pictures and says “this is what it is like in the Keys”.
As I leapt into the water I was looking forward to what I would see, what I saw stunned me beyond words. I’ve snorkeled before but never on a “Chamber of Commerce Day” and never at a reef this extensive and teaming with such a variety of fish. Parrot Fish, Angel fish, Barracuda, Grouper, Snapper, Grunts, Spadefish, Goatfish, Butterfly Fish, Trumpet fish, Batfish, Permit, Snook, Tarpon, Mullet, Sea Turtles, Stingray and more. Many of these fish were in multiple variety and swimming in schools of a hundred. Some would almost let me touch them.
The variety of Coral was more than I had ever seen. The colors were of a variety and splendor that I cannot describe. I understand how tough it must have been for John to describe heaven as he saw it in a vision. Words cannot give to you what I experienced. All I could do for an hour was go, “Wow!”
It became for me a worship service. I kept saying, “God you are soooo incredible.” “You are sooooo creative.” “WOW.” I haven’t been that consumed with God, the spirit of wonder and worship in a long time. I love to worship and normally experience His presence but this was unique, special, different. I was worshipping in the wild. I could hear creation calling forth the praises of the Lord.