I’ve been doing a lot of travelling lately. While I enjoy seeing new places and meeting new people, travel sometimes leaves me exhausted, longing for familiarity and my own house and my own bed. Recently, I was at a conference in Avalon, New Jersey. After a long drive, it was great to see the ocean, smell the salty air, and get my feet wet in the waves. For me, there’s nothing like the sea to bring a sense of calm to my heart. It reminds me that I’m a little drop in a big ocean, and that there is so much more out there than I see on a daily basis.
The ocean also reminds me of the grandeur of God, the immensity of creation, and how much exists below the surface of things, both in the water and in our daily lives. We like to think we’re in control of our lives, but, when you really think about it, there are so many people and things which influence our actions and decisions, both big and small.
I was thinking about this while sitting on a bench one morning in Avalon. I had much on my mind, thinking about all I needed to do. I realized my mind was racing, and I knew I needed to slow it down. I walked back to my room, got another cup of coffee, my bible and my journal, and headed back to the bench. I spent about 45 minutes reading a few of the Psalms, then moving on to a wonderful prayer time. I was so grateful to God for being at the beach, on a beautiful fall day. I was also grateful for my friends and family, a job which I enjoy, and all the good things God has provided me.
After my time of prayer was over, I headed back to my hotel room, refreshed, encouraged, and excited for the day ahead. I realized once again how important it is to make time for God in the midst of what daily life brings me, whether it be sitting on a bench by the sea, or going about my daily routine at home. The same is true for people in our lives. The world is moving faster than ever, and time is a commodity that seems to be in ever shorter supply.
When we make time for God and others, our life is enriched, our strength renewed, and things just seem to be a bit more joyful. Give it a try.