After more than a month-long hiatus from blogging due to vacation and other things, my train of thought from previous posts seems to have flown into oblivion. So in an effort to regain some of it back, I thought I’d write about something that can tie in my vacation with a developing interest of mine: the ocean.

One of the most marvelous things in life is the capacity to wonder and be fascinated. Ever since two summers ago, but especially this past year, I’ve had a newfound love and fascination for the ocean and the marine life (hence, the oceanic object lessons in previous posts). It’s not that I just fell in love with the ocean – I’ve always loved the ocean since I was young – but I’ve only realized how much I actually love it recently. Something reverberates inside me when I see, watch, or read about the ocean and the marine life; something that I don’t get when I see land animals or birds. Maybe it’s because I spent a lot of time in the ocean since childhood, so there’s a special connection sort of speak. But it’s also because of the fact that the diversity in the ocean far exceeds any of the other living spaces. While land animals and birds have their general forms, sea animals are widely varied. I mean, their shapes and forms are way beyond imagination.

Perhaps, this newfound love is also more mature than before. When I was younger, my love of the ocean only extends to how much I love playing and swimming in it. But this one is of another nature. I am fascinated with everything that constitutes the ocean and the marine life, its dynamics and interplay with the human life, and naturally, I am in hate with whatever that destructs it.

For vacation this year, my family went to Orlando, Florida. Being predictable people, we went to the theme parks there because we love roller coasters and all that. Of course, we had to go to Disneyworld because we had never gone before, and it was fun. The complex was impressive and I was amazed at the power of human creativity. Some time ago, all of these things were just thoughts and concepts in someone’s mind… However, and maybe this is a sign of getting old, all that made up Disneyworld did not wow me as they used to, and I don’t think I’d come back, even though we didn’t see everything there.

But, something did wow me. We went to Discovery Cove and Sea World where we swam with fishes and rays, and saw many other magnificent creatures.[1] And these animals were much more awesome than any of the intricate designs that Disneyworld could offer. At one point, I was swimming above a leopard-patterned stingray whose wings extend farther than my two outstretched arms and following it for a good while. God’s creation is simply breathtaking.


Stingrays and Manta rays

Big Walrus video

Yet, there’s something more to this personal discovery than just a side fascination, because quite unexpectedly, the ocean proves to be a point of convergence that integrates aspects of my life that I’ve been trying to unite for many years. Many object lessons were gleaned from observing natural systems, which reveal both the originality, brilliance, and creativity of the Maker, as well as His discretion. Design principles emerge, which taught lessons and ethical values that I believe I should have as an engineer; the ocean made me look to God as my engineering and perhaps public policy instructor. In addition, delving into it is very enjoyable, providing great conversation topics. Basically for me, the ocean is where spirituality and academics meet, leisure and curiosity combine, wonder and reason converge. It’s funny how all of this just happened – it’s definitely a cool answer to prayer.

Now, I have added a few places that I want to visit on my life checklist for diving. Most of them are in my beloved home country, Indonesia.

Raja Ampat, Indonesia. Photo credit: Jeff Yonover.

[1] I’m still forming my opinions about these places and the enclosed animals.

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