Three nights at the beach. That is the longest my wife and I have had away from work (together) since the week after we got married.
No "Java with Jack" this week. Right now most of my conversations revolve around whether the father with three kids is doing a good job of keeping his young un's contained within the pool area. My wife points out they are locked in by the fence system. I point out there is incredible effort exerted on his part to make the pool area enjoyable. Either way, the Mom is off getting some personal R&R and Dad is getting some quality time.
As are we. I've never been one to strive for escapism, but I do love me some beach. Especially beach without oil on it.
But I do have one deep thought that I'd like to dwell on a moment. As a good ole Alabama boy, I love me some trees. And being from North Alabama, my idea of trees usually involves some hills. A good hike involves running my hands through a few leaves, grabbing a tree trunk or two to test it for strength, and taking in the all-encompassing smell of earth.
Here on the ocean though, it is extremely flat. And clear. You can see for miles, as they say. There are no trees to obstruct my view. The smells and the sounds never change. My very skin feels different with a good coat of sunscreen (God I hate this stuff. Especially the fact I missed my newly balding spots) I can only separate myself so much from the everyday issues that fill my head. You know what I mean? Logistics, meetings, prayers, hurts. As a pastor my thoughts often turn to people then to prayers. (Oh! I need to do the next of my three!) Right now, my prayer is for clarity and appreciation of the moment. Every place we find ourselves in, may we live it to the fullest. Every hurt or joy - may we embrace it completely until it passes. For all that has been, thanks. To all that shall be, yes.
Clarity is a funny thing. I wonder where I am more myself.... in the shade, the detail, the coolness of the forest floor. Or in the clear, warm, rhythmic embrace of the beach. Which is better? To be able to reach out and examine all that is around me? Or to be in such a wide open space that I can see (even if I can't touch) the horizon?
I'm doing something here at he beach I almost never do anymore - read. Reading a book called Gilead. Can't remember the author's name at the moment and I'm not going to get up and look. But it (and my environs) have me thinking about the clarity we all need to live life to the fullest.
Regardless, may I always feel Christ's hand moving where I am.
So I'm done. Pentecost is this Sunday - I'll consider my time here in Perdido similar to the Disciples waiting it out in the Upper Room. I know great things are coming and I want to be prepared.
Get ready, the Spirit is coming.