Monday, June 04, 2007

The Ocean

I love the ocean. I love the immense, unending water. I also love the fact that the ocean is constant and unchanging – the sound of the waves and the smells of the ocean never seem to change. I think that the deep, mysterious dangers of the ocean also add to the allure of the ocean.

Recently, I was blessed with the opportunity to observe a tidal pool. I was absolutely fascinated by the tidal pool because I felt that I was able to glimpse the underwater mysteries of the ocean. As I stared into the tidal pool, I was fascinated to see that the tidal pool exactly mirrored what I might see on the ocean floor or in an aquarium. Plants grew in the pool and numerous fish were swimming around. I especially enjoyed watching the crabs. I was amazed that this small microcosm existed just a few feet from the ocean which had formed it.

I like to imagine what might happen when the tide rolls in. I imagine that when the ocean waters wash over the tidal pool, the crabs have a choice. The crabs can cling to the rock that forms the tidal pool that they call home. This is probably appealing to the crab because the small tidal pool is all that the crab knows – the tidal pool is comfortable. However, if the crab decides to let go of the rock, the crab will be swept away by the currents of the ocean. This is a dangerous proposition. On one hand, the crab will be swept out into the vast unknown of the ocean. On the other hand, if the crab is swept into the ocean, he will be shocked to see that the ocean is filled with an undiscovered world that he could never imagine.

This is the way that I view God. God is like a vast ocean – beautiful, dangerous, immense, and filled with mysteries to be discovered. We are like the crab. We live our lives in our tidal pools, which give us a glimpse of what the ocean may be like. In our lives, we are faced with a choice. When the tide rolls in, we can cling to the rock, safe and secure in our world as we know it. Or we can choose to be swept away by the currents – we can choose to explore the mysteries of God. There are many ways to be swept up in the current – we can choose to ponder the difficult questions, we can step out of our comfort zone and serve someone that we would normally never interact with, we can turn our world upside down and decide to change jobs or move to a new location to better know and serve God. While all of these opportunities are terrifying, they are ultimately more rewarding than we can imagine – because it is through these experiences that we can begin to understand the nature and mysteries of God.

Will you remain in your tidal pool or be swept away with the current?

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