Decompression Times

I’m reading a student essay on deep sea diving, and I’m fascinated by the dangers of this activity. In particular, I read about the dangers of a fast ascent from certain depths. I’ve heard about decompression sickness, or “the bends,” before, but I didn’t realize how carefully managed a diver’s ascent must be to prevent gas bubbles forming in the body.

One simply can’t rise that quickly; the body can’t handle it.

Instead, skilled and safe divers learn how to make decompression stops. They literally stay in place at certain depths until the body fully acclimates there. Then, they move upward at a very slow pace. There’s a science to it all, an algorithm, that tells a diver when to stop and for how long.

It protects and saves. It’s absolutely vital.

I imagine that diver on his way up. I imagine how annoying it must be to stop and wait when the destination looms just ahead.

When I think about my lofty dreams that seem to come about at a very slow pace, I feel the gentle reminder that certain seasons of holding patterns, of strange pauses, of paralysis, and of stagnation, might just be those essential decompression stops. God knows that quick rises to any kind of fruitful destination aren’t always good for the soul. Instead, I’m in a carefully managed decompression plan.

A slow and steady life, full of pauses and gentle rises, offers the kind of decompression we need.

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