For over a decade, Isabel and I lived in Cairns, in beautiful Far North Queensland.
Although the beaches near the CBD were not particularly attractive, its northern beaches were, and still are.
Even if you were too busy to visit during daylight hours, to grab a serve of fish and chips and head north after dark, watch the moon rise over the Coral Sea and make its wavy reflection travel from the horizon to the exact spot where you were seated at the water's edge, was a pure delight.
As appealing as this was, it still didn't touch the wonder hidden within.
Visiting a beach on the Great Barrier Reef, removing your shoes and poking your big toe into the water, even stripping off and going for a swim, are poor substitutes for donning scuba diving gear and immersing yourself deep into the ocean, where a whole new world of vibrant life and colours exploded in front of you.
I have discovered that reading the Bible is quite similar.
Visiting this library of sacred books occasionally, dipping your big toe into a couple of randomly chosen verses, even going for a swim across the surface of a whole chapter or short book, are poor substitutes for immersing yourself deeply into God's message for us and to us.
Reading a particular passage slowly, thinking deeply about what it is really talking about, is the way to discover a whole new world of vibrant reality in which God is involved in everything that happens.
And we discover not only what God is doing, but how he wants us to be involved in that with him as the Holy Spirit enlightens and challenges us.
Immersing yourself in the Bible is the most exciting adventure I have experienced - even more exciting than conducting weddings under water on the Great Barrier Reef.
I am currently reading Ephesians in this way, using various English translations to make sure I am exposed to as many different nuances from the underlying original languages as possible.
If you don't have a current project on the go at the moment, how about joining me in the Ephesians immersion read and sharing your discoveries with me.
Reef image courtesy of ipetitions.com