I like to pack lightly – a selection of feel-good music, flip flops, running shoes, and of course, my books. I don’t need much else when going to the sea. It is a time to shed the layers of clothes, worries, and the to-do lists of our busy lives, and to realize just how little we do need instead of how much. Rather than accumulating the latest of things, it is a time to let go of some things.
My road trip down to the sea follows the same pattern. As I leave the big city behind, my body begins to relax a little as I drive through the pleasant, flat farmlands of South Georgia, passing nothing but signs for pecans, peaches, and boiled peanuts. I always turn on the radio about now, partly to pass the time driving through the miles of farmland, but also because I know I’ll find that classic radio station playing the old songs from the 60’s and 70’s – of a time gone by. Memories of the past occupy my mind for a while as I begin to leave the present worries behind.
Then I start to smell the sea air and see the palm trees in the distance and know my destination is close. The sea is a wonderful mystery to me. I am still amazed every time at its vastness. My first thought upon seeing the ocean is always the same – Wow, God is big!
After settling in and a good night’s rest, I put on my running shoes and head to the beach in the early morning. I take in all the beauty and mystery of all that God has made for us. God has hidden such wonderful details and awe in everything He made, from the smallest design in a seashell, to the numerous sands, to an ocean full of underwater sea life. The sea provides the food that sustains us in our meals, in livelihood and jobs, in recreation, and it was also a central gathering place in Bible times. I look at all of God’s beauty around me, that which we often cover up with our belongings and stuff, and all the things we miss while we hurry along, and I think that God must sometimes feel like someone who has prepared an elaborate banquet with all kinds of food and delicacies and provisions for his guests, and yet the guests do not appreciate it. Let us stop for a moment today to say thank you to God for his overflowing abundance that He has given us.
(photography courtesy of my son @ facebook.com/JohnMcCuskerPhotography)