Warm sand, salt air—life’s eternal balm for the world weary soul.
Last week, I basked in the warm glow of the sun, dug my toes in the sand, and watched the waves lap against the shore. For a short period, life’s stress melted away, soothing soul healing balm slipped inside, and I let ocean’s peace wash over me. Whether it’s the intense orange and pink glow of sunrise or the jubilant dolphins gliding in and out of the water, I am often dumbfounded by the sheer beauty of the ocean. I long for more trips to the beach. Whenever I go to the beach, I usually feel more connected to the divine, to God, to my spiritual nature. Seeing something so vast, so grand makes realize my own smallness in the cosmos.
But not this beach trip.
What changed? The ocean hadn’t leaked away nor had the sands sifted out of the shore. So, I sat staring at the ocean appreciating its depth, its beauty, but no spiritual stirrings, just quiet stillness. As if God remained silent, stone-faced to my intense need to connect with Him. Like I do every year at the beach, didn’t God get my memo? This spiritual awakening always happens at the beach because the waves drown out other noises clamoring for my attention. Doesn’t God understand that I only have so many days here to sit and listen and feel spiritual? As the questions roll around inside my head, I’m angry at God’s apparent absence from my spiritual renewal week at the ocean. But the one question that remains unasked is…
When did I become God’s schedule keeper?
Somehow, I try to take the job of creating God’s itinerary based upon my schedule, my needs, my wants. No matter how long I sat there I couldn’t force God to whisper His words of peace to me. I wasn’t listening. I’m reminded of God’s courtroom like grilling for Job—were you there when I(God made the world), when I hung the stars? In a sense God did whisper to me only after I came home, empty from my desperate attempts to be spiritual, to feel some kinship to the divine.
Who are you to dictate when I move in your life? When will you let go of your attempts at spiritual art you call spiritual and allow Me to show you the art already at work in your life?
I wore myself out trying to relive a moment with the divine. Too often, I think we Christ followers put so much effort into recapturing those spiritual moments that we lose sight of the spiritual work of art God is doing right now. We would rather have our finger painting equivalent of spirituality than God’s masterpiece.
Questions: What has been the most significant spiritual occurrence for you? Did you ever try to recreate it? Why or why not?