Sun, sand, seagulls – and oh yeah – 40 degree temperatures. Hey, I’ll take the beach any way I can get it.
Last weekend was an overdue girls retreat to the stunning Outer Banks of North Carolina. Nevermind the fact that the mercury dipped close to freezing or that rain pelted us for the better half of the trip. I was at the beach [sigh] with a “recharge” sign posted to my forehead. There was biking and marvelous coffee, local ice cream and good conversation. Sometimes the biking was directly paired with ice cream. It was really that good.
Amidst all the fabulousness, there was something that absolutely tinged my heart.
Pulled the strings.
Made me think.
Stopped me in my tracks.
That particular morning smelled of clean – the “fresh after a rainstorm” smell that only God can devise (sorry Febreze!). The waves sent their methodical crescendo to the heavens, and seashells told the secrets of last nights tide. For a girl who grew up with sand between her toes, it was borderline heaven, despite winter clothing.
I took a morning jaunt down “our” stretch of beach, at a milepost that was new to my exploratory tactics. It only took a few steps to figure out something was wrong with the view. The wrap around porch dipped and swayed like the classic jungle bridge, complete with the missing boards. The pilings strained against a foreign angle. Curtains swayed their way past jagged glass, eerie in their flow.
Slowly, I counted them – six. A beautiful morning contrasted the fact that the ruthless sea was reclaiming its territory.
I don’t know why this sight spoke to me. All week I have thought of different angles to the story, asking God why he wanted to imprint that image on my mind. Why did my heartstrings tug so? Why did I take a picture that I keep revisiting on my phone?
Slowly God has revealed it to me. And I don’t think he’s done with the lesson. It’s one that will take more than one class period, if you will.
Do you remember that old vacation bible school song that talked about the wise and the foolish men and their choice of foundation? “The foolish man built his house upon the sand…and the rain came a- tumblin’ down.” At milepost 20.5, the song could sound like this “…and the waves came a –rollin’ in.”
I’m not knocking beach life here folks. Let’s look at the age-old big picture through the lens of a song.
Where is your foundation?
Where is my foundation?
Are we on solid ground and therefore fending off the hits of the world with Godly blows?
Or are we struggling to survive in a world that methodically crashes wave after wave into us, slowly weakening us to the point of takeover?
I want the life of holiness and light strong in the foundation of God – a life that obeys God’s commands, is not in love with the world, and emphasizes a love for one another. I don’t want a saggy porch, broken windows or ailing pilings – a sight demolished to a status of pitiful.
I want to be a beacon of light from my tiny abode, reflecting the true light of the Son.
I want a life that glorifies the Father in holiness. Real, live holiness.
Father God, I thank you for the life check in the form of six sea-battered houses. May my daily life be a reflection of yours. Amen.
// this guest post written by contributing writer, lauren arobogast // sharing here