I recently spent a week on holiday at the beach with a group of friends I graduated with from Uni. I also just finished a book from a British author, hence the use of “holiday” instead of “vacation” and “Uni” (University) instead of “College”. My current obsession with non-American English (actual English-English), has nothing to do with this post, and I apologize for getting off topic.
I want to take a minute or two to talk about the beach. Actually, I want to talk about the ocean and the waves cause I feel like they are the most important part of the beach. I also want to talk about how God can speak to us in many different ways, but we sometimes get confused about what we are supposed to hear.
First the beach, well actually the ocean or whatever. For me it’s impossible to stand on the beach and not be in awe of how beautifully powerful and breathtaking it all is. The sound of the waves crashing against the shore is somehow inspiring and frightening at the same time. It grabs a hold of you. Gets inside your very being. At least that’s the experience I had while watching the sunrise on my final day before heading back to Ohio.
This is how God’s love is. Powerful. Breathtaking. Scary.
To compare God’s love to the ocean makes perfect sense to me. That’s why it’s so beautiful… because He created it. His love causes the tides to rise and the waves to crash. I’m not trying to sound overly poetic. This is just what went through my head at 6:30 AM on a Saturday morning.
That’s not the only thing that went through my head though. As I turned to walk back towards the resort (away from the ocean), I was surprised at how quickly the sound of the waves changed from a raging boom, to a faint whisper. How can something so seemingly good and powerful, immediately become part of the background, barely noticeable unless you are paying close attention? One moment you are in complete awe of God’s creation, and the next you are almost forgetting it is even there.
This is where the confusion part I mentioned earlier comes in. I remember thinking to myself, “why would anyone want to leave this place?” while I was standing and staring at the sunrise over the ocean. And it’s true, that kind of beauty is so powerful that it makes you want to experience it everyday. But eventually, you have to leave.
Okay, now what?
Well, what about the beauty of climbing a mountain? Or of a fresh snow on Christmas morning? What about that song you love? Or the beauty of riding your bicycle on an empty bridge at night with no hands in the pouring rain? 🙂
I guess what I’m saying is, at times we think that the only way to experience God’s love is to stay at the beach. We think that if we are in “the right place”, the place where God has called us to be, then we can experience His love and His will for our lives. It’s easy to feel His love when you’re standing on a mountaintop.
The truth is, God’s love is all around us. We can choose to experience it everyday, no matter if you are on the beach or at Starbucks. Living for God isn’t always about finding the path that makes it easiest to do so. To me, it’s about relying on God wherever you happen to be, and not constantly worrying about where you’re “supposed to be”.
This doesn’t mean that God wants us to wander aimlessly through the desert. But there can be more than one Promised Land. And if things aren’t working out, or it’s time for a change, then that’s okay too.
When we start believing this, then we can truly live every day how God intended us to live… Blessed beyond understanding.