I read that in March, James Cameron (explorer and Hollywood director) travelled to the bottom of the Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep in a special underwater vehicle. National Geographic followed his journey, noting the Challenger Deep as “Earth’s deepest, and perhaps most alien, realm.” It is seven miles below the surface and took Cameron’s sub two and a half hours to descend. He is only the third person to make this journey and the first to do so alone.
The purpose of his trip was to contribute to the exploration of the ocean’s extreme abyss and collect data, video, and specimens. He spent six hours in a capsule in what I’m sure was the thickest darkness we could imagine. What an adventure!
Here are some of the few creatures that are able to live in the desolate conditions of the Trench. Not the kind of things I’d like to see in my dreams (or ever), but their less-than-attractive features are essential for survival in such a location.
It seems to me that the Mariana Trench is a good analogy to spiritual decay and darkness. It is often a slow descent (like Cameron’s sub) and existing so far from the light has a gross affect on the soul.
For James Cameron, psychological and physical preparation was required before embarking on this endeavor:
“To prepare for the Challenger Deep descent, Cameron has been running several miles daily, practicing yoga to increase his flexibility, and immersing himself in deep-ocean science, MacInnis said.
"He's got a very quick-study mind ... and he's been talking to scientists for several years," MacInnis said. "But he's really been focusing for the past year.”
In the spiritual sense, this is what TCM is doing – preparing and sending people to minister in the spiritual “Mariana Trenches” of the world.
Later in the article, the writer quotes someone who says Cameron’s preparation “should be worth it” with regard to the scientific contributions it will provide. What is exciting about TCM’s preparation is that we know it is worth it.
Please help us pray for those who have been and will be embracing the adventure of offering light where there is dense darkness - the call of the Great Commission. May they be given God’s greatest courage and may they inspire us to be passionate adventurers as well.
(Thanks to Kevin Kirk for exposing me to the Mariana Trench articles and inspiring spiritual comparisons!)