This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.” (Isaiah 30:15 NIV)
Cease striving and know that I am God . . . (Psalm 46:10a NASB)
Our boat doesn’t strive. We tie it to the dock, and it bobs and floats with the tides. It sways and swings with the waves. It bounces over moderate chop and it skims over glassy seas. It is a sea worthy vessel, and our home for the moment.
It has no will of its own. It doesn’t tell us that it would rather be on the trailer in its storage lot. It doesn’t complain if it is in a river, rather than the ocean. It just goes with the flow.
I am not a boat. I strive. I rarely cease. I work, when I could be resting. I fret, when I could be relaxing. I grumble under my breath and out loud with curses, when I should be quiet. I worry. I wrestle with doubts. I flounder like a jellyfish being tossed in the waves.
Big ambitious projects pile up. I fear that I might miss some great adventure. And then I get in such a tizzy that I do miss out. I miss the promised peace. I forget the faithfulness of God. I cry. I crab. I pout.
I woke up today with grand delusions of writing a new blog series weaving the birth narrative with the Stations of the Cross. (And still sharing our adventures on the boat.) Well, first I realized there are twelve days of Christmas and fourteen Stations of the Cross. That little miscalculation caused a minor breakdown.
It was a sunny day, after several days of drear. I wanted to go to the beach. I wanted to read one of the many books I brought or friends gave to me. I wrestled and prayed and asked and begged God to please tell me His intention for me this day.
I rested on the bed for a bit. I ate lunch. I kept chiding myself for making such a ridiculous claim to write about a very heartrending topic. Finally, I grabbed my beach chair and a book. I stomped to the beach.
I read a little, scrunched my toes in the sand, ate an apple, moved my chair because bugs were bugging me. Even while the sun warmed my skin and the crashing waves calmed my nerves and the book kept my attention, little thoughts were nipping at my mind.
I looked out on the horizon to rest my mind. And what did I spot? Those illusive dolphins gently somersaulting through the salty sea. The gift just for me.
That decided it. I would not blog about the cross and the creche.
I came back to the boat. Met with a friend on FaceTime. Went with Les to get the toilet pumped out at the marina across from us. Little thoughts began swarming me. But I swatted them away.
We had a date with the sunset.
I sat on the front of the boat, sun on my face and the wind chilling my bare toes. We cruised out to the gulf, circled back to anchor by a beach and what did I notice? Dolphins moving effortlessly through the sun speckled waves. So close to us. What did I do? I snapped 77 photos to no avail. Some gifts are just for me.
So, I am repenting. I am changing my mind. No twelve days of Christmas posts. No combining birth and crucifixion insights. Just sharing whatever ebbs and flows in the days ahead.
Here are some photos, I did capture today: