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Going deeper

Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. Psalm 42.7


The Deepest Breath is National Geographic's latest film to be released on Netflix. On the face of it, the story is about the record-breaking depths to which Italian free-diver, Alessia Zecchini, has swum all over the world. But the focus shifts in favour of Irish safety-diver, Stephen Keenan, who saves her life - at the expense of his own - during her attempt to free-dive through the arch at the base of Dahab's notorious Blue Hole. Their unfulfilled relationship lends the whole piece added poignancy and the camera-work is mesmerising.


But it begs the question: is it worth it? Sceptics will point to the obsessive nature of those who pursue extreme ambitions, accusing them of being self-absorbed, forgetting those they leave behind to pick up the pieces, let alone the countless others who could never afford to "follow their dreams". Enthusiasts will identify with the driven nature of those whose single-minded determination is the envy of we who struggle to find our purpose in life.


While none of us has the right to judge - that prerogative lies with God - we share significant responsibilities as the creatures made in his image, with a particular mandate to exercise responsibility for our fellow creatures and to care for our common home. Do we fulfil that by living out our potential or by sacrificing our interests for the sake of others? These are questions which reach beyond casual conversation. Ultimately it is to God that we are accountable and therefore it is to God that we must refer for guidance as to how we should invest our lives: the only, yet most precious, thing we truly possess.

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