We have been greeted today with the sad news that the missing mini submarine, on its voyage of discovery to the site of the sunken Titanic, has been found, imploded.
The US Coast Guard, in their early morning briefing (Australian time) today, explained to the world’s waiting media that they had discovered a debris field, 200m off the bow (front) of the Titanic. The debris field was said to be consistent with an implosion; where the outside pressure collapses the structure from the outside in.
Scientists have divided the ocean’s depths into various zones, and the light and pressure in each one determines what kind of life can survive there. Sunlight typically only penetrates water to a depth of 200m, where the water pressure is about 21 atmospheres, or roughly equivalent to two adult humans balancing on your shoulders.
To reach the remains of the Titanic though, a vessel must go much lower than that. The wreck and now that of the mini sub, sit in the dark bathypelagic, or midnight zone, at a spot 3,800m below the ocean’s surface. The pressure around the famous sunken ship is about 375 atmospheres which is roughly 400 atmospheres (6,000 psi) — about the same as having 35 elephants on your shoulders!
I know very little about submarine design and construction. I have never been in a submarine under water, I have walked the passageways of a stationary ex-Australian Navy submarine docked in harbour, I have watched ‘The Hunt for Red October’ several times but in truth, I know very little of what is required to go so far down below the surface of the ocean.
But I do know that the pressure must be beyond comprehension. 35 elephants on your shoulders?
We have all dived below the water surface in a pool, at the beach or in a lake. We all have felt that tightening of the chest, the rush of blood in our ears, the pressure that comes from a change of circumstances and in that moment intuitively we know that we do not belong here: we have not been made for this. We are visitors in a foreign world, one not created for us.
Ever had days where you felt you did not belong?
Ever had days where your circumstances have changed and all you feel is pressure. Your chest tightens, your ears rush and your cheeks redden?
Ever had days where you just know you were not created for this?
Implosion seems the only outcome: well it’s not.
Unlike those unfortunate adventurers who once in trouble, were devoid of choices, we have them, many of them, before us. Jeremiah’s words to Israel, ‘that they had a future and a hope’ hold true for us as well. Israel was in turmoil, Israel was struggling with its identity, its purpose and its place in the world. Its circumstances had changed dramatically and the pressure on the people was immense. But Isaiah reminded them to ‘hang on’, to ‘hang in’, to believe, to trust and importantly to hope.
So my prayer for you today is simple: if the pressure is on, hope counteracts implosion. Hope counteracts pressure. Hope has no limit, no depths it cannot reach, no pressure it can not resist and no timeframe that it is curtailed by.
Hope does not fail.
This word of encouragement for Christian educators was written by Dean Bennetts, and distributed in The Bridge newsletter in 2023. Dean is the CEO of Adventist Education in North New South Wales, Australia.