WHEN THE SHARK APPEARED, I was well off shore, swimming freestyle, facedown. As I turned my head to take a breath, suddenly I was choked with fear. Far to my left, a dark fin moved directly toward me.
Adrenalin flooded my whole body, triggered by the basic instinct to fight or flee in the face of life-threatening danger.
Flight was not an option. I stopped swimming instantly.
But my heart would surely give me away. It was nearly pounding out of my chest. I closed my eyes and tried desperately to keep my mind from dwelling on the horror of being eaten by a shark.
“Stay calm, stay calm!” I commanded my body.
In that heart-stopping moment, driven by an all-encompassing terror, I searched inwardly for what to do. I knew it was time for a serious talk with God. Quickly! I needed the hand of God to reach out of the sky and pluck me from this ocean.
Dear God, please….
Suddenly, inner guidance came. All my practice over the years of listening to the Divine came through. Although I was new to the teachings of Eckankar, I knew what to do. I would call upon the Mahanta, the Inner Master, for guidance and protection.
I had read in ECKANKAR — The Key to Secret Worlds that calling on this magnificent inner presence would bring the assistance of the Mahanta, the greatest spiritual guide in the heavenly realms. But could the Mahanta really escort me out of this life-threatening moment? Deliver me from a shark?
Having delivered my plea, I stretched out like a log bobbing in the ocean. And though my heart was still racing outrageously, I experienced an immediate sense of emotional relief. A moment of absolute surrender passed through me like a gentle wave.
I felt almost invisible in the water. No longer gripped by the paralyzing fear, I faced death with calmness, floating in one eternal moment of peace.
Suddenly, I was hit hard from underneath.
The impact was powerful, and my body jolted up out of the water and shot forward like a bullet. Was this an attack? The force of the blow was bone-jarring, yet I felt no pain.
And then the most amazing thing happened. For the briefest moment, I was suspended in the air, above the water. Then I felt my body falling back into the ocean. I was hit again.
I didn’t understand what was happening, and my heart continued to pound wildly, yet still I felt no pain.
I felt the strange hitting sensation slam against me a third time. Then a powerful, smooth, sleek body approached from my right side, and suddenly rose up underneath me, lifting me right out of the water!
I was rapidly moving across the surface of the ocean, speeding toward the shore.
The surface of the water broke in front of me, and I saw a heaven-sent rescuer on whose back I had just been carried. It was a beautiful dolphin, piercing the waves and jumping through the air in the inimitable way of these intelligent mammals. Just then another dolphin lifted me. Poised on the back of this second dolphin, I was again speeding through the water effortlessly. A third dolphin looked right at me as it dived to the left and submerged.
A school of dolphins had come to my rescue!
Quickly and smoothly, they brought me to the safety of chest-deep water near the beach. As I breathlessly turned to take in what was happening, I saw I was standing upright in the ocean, surrounded by an entire school of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.
Eventually, the dolphins turned and danced backward for several feet in a perfect farewell.
It was clear that there was a power in the universe beyond anything I had ever conceived — a power that could pull together all the forces of nature in a split second to change the course of events in our lives.
And today, that awesome power had saved my life.
The experience left me with a strong sense of the interconnection of all life — and an awareness that God’s love, guidance, and protection are always with us. It does not matter how isolated we might feel; we are never alone.
For more info on the book Inner Guidance: Our Divine Birthright go to InnerGuidanceBook.org.