Our church has spent the past year and a half wading through the Book of Acts. Verse by verse, our pastors have taken us through the story of the birth, growth and expansion of the Christian church. Luke penned the story as a sequel to his Gospel. It follows Peter’s establishment of the church, and the journey of Paul and others out to the ends of the earth with one mission: spread the Gospel. Solid as a rock.
Enter the co-inventor of the Aqua Lung. I guess if the apostle Paul was the ambassador to all men throughout the land, Jacques Cousteau was the pioneer that brought us the sea. I grew up watching documentaries by Jacques Cousteau on TV. They were fascinating. Cousteau was a filmmaker and self-taught oceanographer who is by far the most well-known undersea explorer of all time.
“Sometimes we are lucky enough to know our lives have been changed, to discard the old and embrace the new and run headlong down an immutable course. It happened to me… on that summer’s day when my eyes were opened to the sea.” Jacques Cousteau
When I read that quote, it makes me think of Jesus. You know, he who has eyes let him see. I understand that may not be what Jacques was thinking about when he wrote it. Remember, Paul’s eyes were opened to the love of Jesus on the day his Maker showed up. Paul already knew the Bible, being a well-educated man and Pharisee who thought “The Way,” or Christian movement, was bad news for Judaism. Paul was blinded for 3 days when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. Then, Ananias placed his hands on Paul, and his eyes were opened again, he was baptized and received the Holy Spirit, and Paul became the chosen instrument to spread the Good Word.
“When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself.” Jacques
Jacques calling was inherent in his nature to share his story, one that opened our eyes to see a whole new world under the sea. Cousteau was a remarkable man with specific gifts that unveiled a new world for us in a way that no one else ever has. For that, I’m very thankful.
The truth be told we each have an opportunity to lead an extraordinary life. Likewise, part of that quest is our calling to share:
Jesus told His apostles, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Witnessing is sharing what God has done for us. Paul waited for God to cut him loose in Acts before heading out on his missionary journeys. Jacques probably could have made a great movie before his eyes were opened to the sea, but with what result? Only when he had the eyes to see was he able to accomplish the extraordinary feats of his calling, and only then was Cousteau christened to share his remarkable story.
Paul if by land. Jacques if by sea. The fishers of men.
Meet me at the dock?
Photo by tonydude919 on flickr.com