The difference among scuba diving, swimming and surfing is one’s relationship with water. A scuba diver is immersed; a swimmer is involved; a surfer is influenced.
In my twenties, thirties and forties I was a scuba diver immersed in raising a family, building a church community and advancing God’s kingdom. I had a clear worldview, a compelling sense of mission and committed partners to work alongside.
In my fifties I became a swimmer struggling to keep my head above water. I was no longer in full-time ministry; I questioned my evangelical presumptions and my relationship with God became distant as I pressed for more intimacy.
As I approach my 60th birthday I feel like a surfer skimming atop the waves. I’m now single and live alone. I’m a self employed writer and work alone. I watch others who are absorbed in church, politics, business, ministry, technology or media but don’t feel drawn into these passions.
It could be worse. At least I’m not a swabby; a minion in a floating bureaucracy with little say over my circumstances.
Or that most aloof and oblivious of all seafarers—a cruise ship passenger!