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Pastor’s Pen

“I believe that I shall see the Lord in the land of the living…

Wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:13-14

I have a confession to make. I haven’t walked on the beach for ages. Oh, I’ve been TO the beach to be sure. I’ve sat in my car drinking coffee at first light, listening to the crash of winter waves at high tide. I’ve walked AT the beach, picking my way through winter gravel and ice along the edge of the road, or more recently along the sidewalk. But I haven’t actually walked ON the beach in ages, that is, until today.

         After distancing myself for some time, I eagerly anticipated the return to a familiar shore. Instead, I found myself annoyed. Walking along the water’s edge, I noticed that the rocks extended further than before and I had to walk around them. The recent snow raised the level of neighborhood run-off. The unexpected river stopped me cold, with the inconvenient decision to either walk through it and risk getting wet, or take a long detour around it. I’d also forgotten the musky stench of the remains of living things thrown upon the shore, and the mess of sand-caked shoes.

         Then it occurred to me. God didn’t place the beach there for my personal preference. It isn’t my beach, though I enjoy it. It isn’t my sand, though I walk upon it. It isn’t my sunrise, though I praise God for each new day. My unhappiness was not caused by some factor outside myself. My unhappiness was created by my own false expectation that the world should arrange itself to please me. And thus, I confess. And I repent.

         And then the world appeared to change. I saw brand new tidal pools born over the winter, waiting to team with summer life. I witnessed the reverie of dogs on holiday, leaping to catch flung obstacles on the morning air. I appreciated the jubilant splash of a young child, conquering the salty rivers with abandon. And I wonder.

         Maybe our criticism of people or circumstances that don’t please us is a sign that God wants to reveal to us a new thing. What if our annoyance is God’s invitation to turn our attention in a new direction to the glory that has been present all along?

         Just about the time I got all caught up feeling offended that the world wasn’t laid out as I remembered it, and frankly preferred it, I looked down to notice that I was wearing one purple glove and one black one. I laughed out loud.

Prayer: Thank you God, for reminding me once again that your creation is ever changing. Everything you have made is beautiful in it’s own way. Help me to see and appreciate the hidden gift in all things, even those things that annoy or disturb my sense of the way things should be.

God’s grace, mercy and peace,

Pastor Verlee