Thanksgiving and The Beach

I haven’t posted in a while. All of you reading this regularly (how many of you are there?a handful?? lol) know that. Thanks for hanging in there with me. There are reasons. I won’t go into all of them at this moment.

Just returned from a Thanksgiving trip down south. Even though I lived in the same town since I was 8 years old, I didn’t know about “the mountain”. The mountain is a huge hill that provides a beautiful panoramic picture of the town and the surrounding hills. It is gorgeous. We went during sunset and took some pictures. It was a bit too dark so I won’t post those pictures, but on my next visit, I hope to return and have another chance to capture the beauty.

While down south, I also had the opportunity to visit the Gulf coast for a couple of days. The beach is a very relaxing, peaceful place. It is not crowded this time of year. It was a little cool but not terribly cool. I wanted a chance to simply sit on the shore and gaze out into the ocean and listen to the waves and the breeze…  and this I did have a chance to do. Bliss.

Life continues to move on in surprising directions. As the waves crashed into the shore, I thought about how our lives will disappear as quickly as the footprints on the wet sand. We’re here but a moment in time. And while we’re here, it can seem that troubling times can last an eternity. Isn’t it ironic?

As the waves washed onto shore, all kinds of thoughts washed over me. God’s love is as deep as the sea. His forgiveness is like a wave that washes over me and my sins are wiped away. As each wave rolled in, it brought a new set of treasures from the sea, seashells and sea creatures. No two waves were alike. And life is like that. We have days, and seasons, that bring in unknowns. And, as the sun slipped beneath the horizon, I tried to let unproductive thoughts slip away into the darkness.

I stared out over the vast waters. The ocean is a powerful force. It can drown, kill, capsize, overturn. It holds hidden dangers underneath its waters. We can’t relax completely while in it. But, God is even more powerful. There is no valley he cannot fill nor any ocean he cannot empty. His power supercedes the mighty power of any force in nature. By his word the oceans were created, and by His hand the seas were parted. And, I’ve prayed for God to part insurmountable seas in my life.

While in the sea we must be cautious, but if we are just a bit away from the deep ocean, or near the shore, we can enjoy its beauty, its power, and it offers a serenity, a peace, that is not found in a busy suburban street or the urban downtown. It’s a different kind of peacefulness than the countryside, or an open field, or a mountaintop, or the woods. Each place offers something different. Each place teaches us something different about God, and something different about ourselves. All are places I’d like to visit. And learn from. This time, it happened to be the beach. I’m not sure which one place I prefer. They each offer a unique perspective and a special quietness.

Although I tried to let some things go with the waves, some things stayed with me. I can change things within myself, but I cannot change many things around me. People. Circumstances. Etc. You know what I’m talking about; those things that are beyond one’s control.

I have a bag of shells that the kids and I collected. I’m looking forward to washing them and putting them in a clear bowl where we can remember the trip. A reminder of the ocean, and the things that change, and the things that do not. A reminder of the power of God, and that He is mightier than the power of the sea. He can part any sea.

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