Kevin Mills, The Ounce Project

Updated: May 18


Upon my arrival at the Sheraton Hotel in Nadi Fiji, I took an introductory scuba diving course. The very next morning I was sitting on the bow of the dive boat heading out into the ocean. By the end of the first day of diving and listening to the stories of the crew and fellow passengers, I had become fast friends with the captain of the dive boat. “Kevin,” the captain told me at the end of my first day, “come dive tomorrow, but you don’t have to sign up at the hotel. Just come and jump on the boat anytime you want, you are now my personal guest on my humble boat.” So for the next few days, I did just that.

On the fourth day, I followed my same routine. I climbed onto the boat, and stood next to the captain as he called out his now familiar mantra to all the passengers, “It’s another beautiful day in the office!” For over an hour we traveled through the morning sunlight and toward the horizon. As I had done on each of the previous mornings upon arrival at the dive site, I helped the new guests put on their scuba diving gear. However, on this particular morning instead of putting on my tanks, I decided to go snorkeling by myself. It was such a sweet feeling, floating in the ocean alone with just my thoughts. There were nibbling fish kindly picking away at my skin, it felt like kisses from God. I was in heaven. Soon, however, I lost track of time; and evidently, I also lost track of the boat for when I surfaced the dive boat had left. The boat, my fellow divers, the crew, and the captain were all gone. I later learned one of the hotel guests fell so ill the dive was unexpectedly cut short. The captain checked the manifest of passengers and crew, and I was not on either list, so he headed back to shore leaving me in the ocean. I began screaming. I began screaming at God! “It is not supposed to be like this,” I screamed, “I am not supposed to die here!” The little fish that were once nibbling sweetly at my skin were now torturing me. It felt as if they were all trying to eat me alive. It was a reckoning for sure… it was a reckoning with God! “This cannot be it!” I screamed. “Stop eating me!” I screamed at the fish. I was in a total panic screaming, fighting off the nibbling fish and terrified that all the things I knew I was meant to do in the world would now rem