KEY SCRIPTURE Proverbs 8:29 When He set for the sea its boundary so that the water would not transgress His command, when He marked out the foundations of the earth;
RELEVANCE Day Two continued: Day One saw Mate 1 and I leaning on the rail of a viewing platform overlooking Bells Beach, with a refreshing southerly breeze only strong enough to make us pull our caps down tighter but not too strong to blow them off. A sea breeze brings subliminal feelings—an uplifting of the soul we can't describe. That strong sensory awareness that this is where we belong, where we would like to build a house and live, where we'd like to walk and think. We are at one. The sea causes us to slow down and contemplate many things, and it's free—a God-given playground providing pleasure and providence in so many ways. Day Two was different. Mate 2 arrived on his bike and couldn't wait to get in the water. For weeks, he'd hoped to try out a Boogie Board he had purchased years before. Believe it or not, we forgot to bring that one. Fortunately, I put one of mine in the car in case his board didn't bear his weight. I also brought an extra pair of flippers for him. While others were in wetsuits, he leapt in the old-fashioned way—with a Tee-shirt and board shorts. Not quite like a fish to water, he fumbled his way out through the small break, as we all do when beginning, eventually getting into the rhythm of a seaman. I didn't go out; I needed bigger waves to move my board. Well, our new seaman kept flipping further out and carried sideways by the current, to the degree that I said to Mate 1, "I think I'll get my board and rescue him." By the time I'd changed and returned, he'd come in. A short run, but enjoyable anyhow. And all this enjoyment without charge, handed to us by God himself for our pleasure. We watched experienced surfers out the back scrounging for the odd wave in the small swell and newbies on the smaller stuff again, with mums, dads and kids playing joyfully in the shallows ignoring the cold water. What entertainment He designed for our gratification. When He made the earth, our caring God thought of everything. So many pleasures we can enjoy without the interruption of one computer. However, God provided the brain to make and use those as well. (I thought I'd better add that, considering I'm currently typing on one!) Something astonishing the sea can do is still the mind. I know Darrell Kerrigan from The Castle coined the phrase, "How's the serenity." But the sea ushers its calm through our senses as if it were its sole duty. Psalm 107:29 reflects that thought. He caused the storm to be still, so that the waves of the sea were hushed. Life's storms and rough seas—those turbulent anxieties, fears and worries we battle through in our daily existence serenely drift into calm waters when we're by the sea. They disappear for a time. There is a science behind it, but I like to stay on the surface of this one and simply enjoy the feeling. As we neared the end of our stay, Mate 1 shared the changes to his feelings, and how he could easily be a beachcomber. I told him about my experience when I surfed almost every weekend in my twenties. "My mind would leave home and go to the beach on Thursday evening, and my body would follow it after work on Friday!" That's the way the beach life draws you to its side. We often take for granted that the Lord has provided such a variety of playgrounds for us mere mortals—snowfields, desert landscapes, winding rivers, hills and forests, lakes, and waterfalls. We find a plethora of amusement, challenges and education within each one. These play an abundance of roles, more than a human could ever know or understand.
Psalm 95.5 The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.
We worship an amazing God who, through his loving intelligence, thought of everything we could or would need. I sometimes find the details so wonderful it's difficult to get my head around them.
PRAYER Dear Lord, the sea provides me with a mixture of fun, peace, and bigger swells of confrontation of my abilities. Thank you for a water world so exceptional man could never invent or even describe it if it weren't there.
Photo by Thomas Vimare