“Search me, O God, and know my heart: test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”.-Psalm 139:23-24*
I dug my toes into the cool wet sand as the water met the earth and washed over my feet. I took in a deep breath and thanked God for this moment. The beach is my happy place, where all my senses soak in the sounds, sights, and feelings of what a slice of heaven might actually be like for my eternity.
My state of mind is altered when I am around any water, but my favorite watering hole is the beach. It allows me the downtime where I can renew and refocus on my priorities. I find perspective in listening to the lapping of the waters, the rush of the wind, and the warmth of the sun on my skin. It is a great place for me to settle my mind and heart around what God wants from me.
I am able to surrender to Him.
Everyday life is such a distraction for me. I am always in a rush, hardly ever pausing to listen. When I am at the beach I feel so small and insignificant against the vast ocean, sky, and sand. It reminds me I am but a tiny piece of God’s majestic tapestry. I can focus on the many blessings in my life and give thanks. I wish I could live full time at the beach, but is not my reality. So how can I bring this same surreal reflection into my daily life?
Committing-It starts with me. I have to commit to spending some quiet time every day with God. For me, it is a good habit to form. If I don’t read the bible or pray first thing in the morning, I feel off balance. This quiet time is for me to re-center daily before facing the reality outside my door.
Unplugging-It is okay not to be hooked into technology all the time. Many of my distractions are on the computer, tablet, and phone. I work on a computer all day and find myself the rest of the time reading on the tablet or talking/texting on the phone. Not to say some of it is necessary but I have to admit there is unimportant noise which robs me of my time. Intentionally taking breaks from these instruments is now a high priority on my to-do list.
Giving-I can give thanks daily for all of my blessings and give of my time or talents to others. When my heart is grateful, it is a joy to do for others. I can pray, serve, and comfort those who are in need. It also opens the door for me to be more receptive to those who want to comfort me in my time of need. I believe this is what God wants for all of His children, where we can think and do for each other and not focus on ourselves.
Practicing these steps will help me achieve the peace I feel when I am alone on a beach. Ultimately, I can find calm and surrender to Him anytime. It is a bonus for me when I can do it at my favorite place. Good excuse to go back to the beach, don’t you think?
*The Holy Bible, New International Version Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society