In much need of some family time away from the hustle and bustle of schooling, chores and everyday responsibilities, we headed to the coast to bask in the warm sunshine. In spite of the fact that shore-line fun requires diligent parental-supervision, I often find my time at the beach meditative.
In the ebb and flow of crashing waves, in the clear sky, the wind and the wildlife, I can see the face of God. Peace, power, stillness, life, and motion all presented together call to mind His Almighty and Constant Presence.
These quiet moments allowed me to consider the promise to Moses that his descendants would be as numerous as the grains of sand. Watching my children dig and pile, sift and dump that sand I couldn’t help but consider that we are each a tiny grain that fulfills that promise.
|the seagulls loved our crumb-dropping kiddos|
The day we chose turned out to be particularly windy which was a blessing for me since the cool breeze balanced out the heat. Along with the gentle crashing waves, that wind muffled my voice when I tried to call little ones back to shore.
Perhaps, God’s voice is like my own sometimes muffled by the noise of life. So that even though He is calling me to safety, I can’t hear and I’m too busy to seek it out in the stillness.
Just the day before, I’d read a little blurb about encouraging children to love science and mine took me to task this trip. My four year old began by asking if “the life guards put chemicals in the water.” That precipitated a lengthy discussion about the sea and pollution and man’s part in cleaning up oil spills. Fifty questions later, our conversation ended with the proposition, “what if the guy who is in charge of cleaning the birds (who are covered in oil), doesn’t know how to read so he doesn’t know which cleaner to use?”
In addition to reminding me that God must have a sense of humor, this conversation led me to reflect on education and how God is teaching us at every moment. He doesn’t need books and lesson plans, He simply gives us the tools and the minds to put them to use. And He is endlessly patience because at times my prayers must sound a little like my four year old’s “what if’s” and “why’s.” This thought helped me to keep on smiling and trying my best to answer rather than issuing Mr. Curiosity back into the sea.
Of course, the ebb and flow of the waves is entrancing. The never-ending motion of water cresting and breaking is a little like the seemingly endless energy of my boys, but a whole lot more peaceful.
How inviting those waves were for my kids. It buoyed their youthful bodies one minute and pushed them under the next when they ventured far beyond their knees. Awesome to think about the invitation of the ocean most times and yet its capacity to destroy at other times. The waves conjured up the memory of trials in my life. Sometimes small crosses cause me to exercise my faith muscles, through prayer and petition, but at other times I’ve felt completely thrown head over heels in the depths of sorrow. If I can just find the horizon again and remember how to float, I know that eventually the storm will pass and the ocean will return to calm.
Interesting to see the plant life springing from the sandy dunes, too. When we talk about plants in our science class, we talk about rich, fertile soil that hosts the necessary nutrients, but at the beach life springs forth as well. Another reminder that God is the Master of all life and He creates something from nothing. When the world sees no potential, God sees endless possibilities for growth and beauty.
Tomorrow’s Thankful Thursday should be an easy list to compose. I am looking forward to finding another day or two for our family to steal away and return to the seaside, but until then I always know I can find my Lord again, in every place and time.
|Greg and Tara (I’m posting this to keep me humble since I promised to look at my prego body through grateful lens).|