The waves crash onto the shore as I walk on the deserted beach not long after the sun has decided to grace us, once again, with her morning majesty. Litter—empty plastic cups, a beat-up cooler, two broken chairs, a few beer bottles—carelessly left behind by fellow humans, stands out hideously in the otherwise perfection of God’s morning creation.
Those abandoned things are not unlike the fragments of our former selves that are strewn across the landscape of our pasts; not yet worn down like the rocks that became the sands of time; not yet pulverized enough that we can let them slip through our fingers. Those broken remnants that we hang onto, and often cling to, are the memories, ideals, and dreams that were shattered by the reality of life.
They lie, sometimes glistening in the sun, calling to us, reminding us of the times that were less-than; times when we chose less-than. Sometimes, that history stirs the turmoil we carry with us today—in spite of our souls’ aching to feel complete; in spite of our spirit begging us to wrap our arms around all the pieces of us, and then (and this is important) make peace with them.
There are so many beautiful treasures on the nearly-empty beach. As I walk, I am thoughtful about what I pick up. I choose carefully, taking small pieces that I can slip into my pocket; holding them in my hand before deciding to carry them with me. After all, it’s not really the “big things” is it? It’s usually all the tiny ones, layered upon each other, that matter, and create our tapestries.
Though, mostly, I embrace change, opening the door to the adventures that lie ahead, there are times when I try to ignore the knock on that door. I make excuses for why I shouldn’t open it. I list the reasons why I want to maintain the status quo: it feels safe, it’s easier and less messy, I’m comfortable where I am. And, sometimes, I’m just worn out by all the places, that I never wanted to go, that I’ve already been to.
There are footprints left by those who walk this beach each morning. Today, there may be footprints left by others who touch sand for the first time. Those imprints—belonging to those taking first steps and those walking on this beach for the last time—will be washed away, just like mine. There is no “pecking order” with this water; to her, we are all the same; journeyers just passing through.
The vastness of this space makes me acutely aware of what I’m not; of what I’ll never be but, sometimes, in the immenseness of this sacred ground, I understand all that I am. It is in that tension between the knowing and the unknowing; the confidence and the uncertainty; the sense of self and the small, still wondering and wandering child that I often meet God.
Tell me, where do you want to go? What paths could you take to reach the destination you dream of? What can you leave behind—not hastily abandoned on the beach of life and just left there, but with care and honoring for the time those things held an important place. How can you take steps that lead you to the life you want to live; the life that your spirit knows you deserve?
The waves crash onto the shore as I walk on the deserted beach not long after the sun has decided to grace us, once again, with her morning majesty. I am aware that, with my human limitations, I don’t always see all that is placed in front of me. And, with my human limitations, sometimes all I see is what is placed directly in front of me.
So, as always, my—often winding—journey continues. Thank you for walking with me.❤︎