Our verse for today comes from John 11:54, ” Therefore Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there remained with His disciples. “
The tag line on the cover of the movie reads, ” Not just another day at the beach. ” That, along with the panicked look on the girl’s face and the fin of a shark in the background, would suggest that The Shallows is about more than just a girl on a surfing trip. When we asked a teenage friend of ours for her take on the movie, she said it was about a girl on a rock. Not exactly the ringing endorsement that the survival thriller would hope for. As it turns out, The Shallows is about a girl and a rock, and a surfing trip and a shark. Blake is surfing at a beach in Mexico when she happens upon the carcass of a humpback whale. As she rides the waves to shore one last time, the great white shark knocks her from her board and bites her. She manages to escape and swim to the whale carcass, only to be knocked off of it by the ramming of the shark. In the upheaval, she is able to swim to an isolated rock that has emerged as the tide has ebbed, and there she has to figure out a way to survive, knowing that the tide will return and her refuge will once again disappear into the waters of the shark. Although Blake was only a couple hundred yards from the safety of the shore, the crystal clear, shallow water surrounding her was anything but a place for a delightful swim back to the sandy white beach.
Sometimes what’s near and familiar to us is what can do the most harm to us. Jesus was a Jew, came to the Jews, and lived among the Jews, and they wanted to kill Him. What should have been the inviting waters of a secluded Mexican beach instead turned out to be a potential death trap. And the response in both cases was the obvious one – steer clear of the threat. We often devise schemes to manage our situations or manipulate the conditions, when what we should really do is just avoid them altogether. If your energy is going towards these endeavors, choose instead to do without, and stop putting yourself in harms’ way.
As we seek Him today, get off the path that can cause you to stumble, even before you take that first step.