I have become a lover of the ocean. This took some time for me. I love rivers and lakes and creeks - oceans seemed too massive. I had to get used to saltwater and stinging creatures in the surf like jellyfish and man of war. I have learned to enjoy the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic, and the Pacific on different occasions - each has it's own unique personality.
I recall one occasion when the waves, wind, and undertow at the beach were especially strong. As I went out into the surf, I was pulled, pushed, jabbed, knocked down and left breathless by the power of the waves and currents. One moment I was standing, the next I was down scraping my chest on the bottom of the ocean floor. What power - so much power.
Sometimes life is like fighting the waves of a churning ocean. I recently spent time with a family whose son, a graduating Senior, who had won an appointment to the Air Force Academy, a remarkable and gifted young man, was killed in a car crash. It was like a giant wave came crashing down on them. Another family, lost their Mother and Father in an instant. The storm had come with such intensity that it threatened to take them all under. Life in the waves is so unpredictable. One moment the seas are gentle and rolling - the next they are like a violent storm.
I have to remind myself that living is beautiful and treacherous, sometimes all in the same week, same day, same hour.
The gift of living comes with risk but with amazing joy. The joy is even present in the storm - surrounded by people who love us, who act as Life Guards pulling us from the stormy sea of life, we see again the beauty of loving relationships, even in the midst of loss.
One line from Scripture comes to mind: "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep..." - we don't have to face the winds and waves alone. (Romans 12:15)
I am stepping back into the waves - thank God I am not alone.
Just thinking, Steve