I have always loved the sea and some years back, I would imagine myself there as a means of relaxing into sleep. It helped me to bring closure to lingering anxieties of the day and provided a kind of sanctuary. There I would surround myself with the sounds of the water and think how the dampness of the sandy shore would feel under my bare feet. There would be just enough breeze to set my hair in backward sway. The wind would softly caress all of me as I moved along the shore. The gentle push of the wind was welcoming and not at all a cause for resistance. It was blissful.
I found such pleasure in my walks by the sea, and I would often return, thanking God for this incredible creation of His. It has always been my favorite part of nature.
As time went on, I began to see more. I noticed that I would always look first toward the right, where the waters rippled like diamonds under a golden sun. The meeting of the waters and the sky could not clearly be distinguished, for the horizon was hidden by the brightness of the sun gathering the sea unto itself.
Then I would look to my left, to a scene of contrast. Buildings, old and deteriorating, were there and they were without light and without any sign of use or life around them. Dead and forbidding was all the scene seemed to be.
As I continued walking, straight ahead of me I could see a place that was like a busy and lighted city. I couldn’t yet hear the noise but I knew it was there. There was some kind of indiscernible activity.
This seemed to be the extent of my journey: a look to the right, a look to the left, and a look to the place ahead. I seemed to gain no distance in my walk, ever. And it always seemed to be at dusk, just before dark was gathered, that I mentally walked beside the sea. Yet, this being so, how did I account for the brightness of the sun that cast diamonds over the moving waters? Just what did all this mean?
Then, during one morning’s quiet time with God, it came to me. I realized it was about life. All was symbolic.
The sea is the part of nature that cleanses and soothes me most. I find it healing and to place there was chosen for that purpose. To walk with bared feet was to let myself feel the truth, to know reality.
The dark and dismal scene on the left was symbolic of all the parts of my life that were filled with regret, those things past and non-productive. There was no attraction to any of it. It was there to let me know that it was just as it looked – dead and gone.
The lighted and heavily populated scene ahead was the world, things that had their certain appeal and temporary fascination. Because others were there, it drew my curiosity. I knew that if I continued to look that way, I would be tempted to explore it, but there would be nothing of lasting value. Rather, there would be ventures of wasted time and most likely the adding of more buildings to that place of darkness on my left. It was the world and its crooked and beckoning finger, ready to take me in and produce more fruit of human confusion and every kind of mistake.
That glorious view on the right – the scene where waters and heavens met — that was the abode of the Lord. And there I could see Jesus, laughing in joy, and asking me to come. He walked on the waters toward me with arms outstretched. All in that direction was beautiful and good and full of hope and love. And it was always bright there because no darkness can ever touch Him.
The part of covering no distance seemed to say I was at a decision point, though I don’t remember that being the case. I remember my walk by the sea as a time of reflection, of reminding myself as I drifted off to sleep, there is only one direction to ever choose, only one place where there is ever true life. Focus on the past and all that was no longer? No. Focus on the world and its vain glories? No. Focus on the Lord and all that He desires for me? Oh, yes! Father, I will walk on the water (in faith) with my Lord, trusting Him through every stormy sea. For He alone is able to see me safely on this life’s journey. His is the voice that is strong and right and rings with a melody of eternal gladness.
Father, thank You for Your creation of the sea. You gave us so much to enjoy in our time here on earth. The beauty of Your nature is an incredible blessing. And Father, I ask that You cause me to always remember my walk by the sea and how clear you made everything about life. There is only one place of focus for a follower of Christ. He alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I thank you for Jesus, Your perfect Gift for all who would receive Him. Amen.