Standing on the beach, staring at the vastness of ocean, I felt calm seep into every pore. Every inch of me breathed peace. The madness, murder, and mayhem of the world did not exist. Neither did laundry, bills, politics, and other grown-up burdens. I couldn't even focus on anxiety. My husband felt it too. He couldn't believe how the tension and stress of life just disappeared.
But how strange. The ocean could swell and pound the sand and make us disappear, if it wanted to. We looked out at the tips of the hidden forest of Neskowin, visible only when the tide was out. Long ago the trees had stood proudly on land before the water rose and consumed them. The ocean is not safe. But, oh, it is good for the soul.
I hardly need to explain; for, anyone who has ever been to the coast must feel the same. Yes, one can surf or fish or go on a cruise, but how many people want ocean-front property just so they can gaze upon the water? Why are we so drawn to it? What power does it have over us?
Why am I not equally drawn to God? Is it because I cannot see him? He's vast; he's everywhere. He's powerful, mighty, and not exactly safe. But he is good. And he is love. He could wipe me out, like erasing a mistake, but he doesn't. When I do take the time to sit with him, I start to feel the calm and the joy and the peace that he desires for me.
The news and the traffic and the Internet get me so muddied up that I stop seeing that God is everywhere. I just want to run back to the ocean where I can forget all that other stuff exists. My sense of sight really does take control. Maybe that's why God said to meet him in private, in a closet, in the quiet. When I've gone to a crowded beach by a big city with lots of shops and noise it is true that I sometimes get distracted. I forget that the ocean is trying to offer me peace, and I busy myself with other pursuits. Then I go home from vacation feeling exhausted and not refreshed.
Maybe I should put a bottle of sand on my desk as a reminder to close my eyes and see the ocean. To meet God on the waves. He will calm the storm.