Monday, June 26, 2006
A Day at the Ocean
I love the ocean. As I’m walking, holding my little one, and singing to him as we walk along the ocean’s edge, I think to myself ‘It doesn’t get much better than this.’ But it’s more than just paradise, our favorite vacation spot. It’s a spiritual experience. Looking out at the vastness of the ocean, I realize what a picture it is of God. How do people come to the ocean, and not believe in our magnificent Creator? Nature is not this clever. The brilliancy of Creation could only belong to the Almighty.
But beyond that, the ocean speaks to me of our God in elementary, but eloquent terms. As I look out at it, it is boundless. I can’t see where it ends and begins. I stand on a tiny, miniscule piece of it’s edge…so I know it has edges, but they aren’t visible to me, no matter how I look at it. Occasionally, a sailboat, or even a giant cruise ship will meander by, but it seems fairly untouched and untainted by humanity. The deep blue meets only the sky. It’s depths are unknown to me. I’ll never touch the deepest part of it with my toes. I’ll never know the intricacy and beauty of life under the water, even if I swam in it for as many days as David Blain soaked in it. But I revel in the baby pool of ocean I’m on, soaking up the details, marveling at the gift of it.
Walking along our tiny inlet, the further I get to the drop-off, the angrier the waves become. The waves that lap upon our shore are subdued and steady. The sound hypnotic, and beautiful. I would be pleased to just lay in the safety of the inlet and listen to it. But I have to explore closer to the open sea. The waves come harder, and I realize the power and mystery of the ocean I didn’t appreciate further back. It’s something to revere and fear. It’s not as benign as we make it out to be.
The parallels are clear. God even used the imagery of the ocean several times in scripture. But this reminds me so much of my relationship with Him. I could sit on my tiny inlet beach, sip pina coladas, and enjoy a miniscule part of Him, thinking all along this is the whole of Him, the entire ocean. But thankfully, something draws me magnetically closer to Him. I have to go deeper. I have to know more of Him. The more I know, the more I fear and adore Him. His power and mystery are boundless. The waves are at times as smooth as glass, and other times are tumultuous and furious. God is a combination of love and mercy, as well as wrath and justice. Standing in this place, I am all too aware that I can only see a millionth of a fraction of who He is. I trust, that in the life, I will never touch the top of Him with my fingertips, nor the depths of Him with my toes, but I have to try. He’s more majestic than the ocean, which He crafted single-handedly. How long did I sit on my tiny piece of the beach, thinking I had the whole picture? I don’t know, but I’m grateful to know the vast, boundless Creator if it all.