Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Twilight's Last Gleaming: By Sea

There are a few secret moments in life that demand a bit of magic. These moments are elusive and can only be found with the most perfect of ingredients:

a hyperactive-five-year-old, color coordinated with her breaking-into-life thirteen-year-old sister, both chasing after their surprisingly adventurous, ready-to-drive, sixteen-year-old brother and  tenacious-boy-who-never-grew-up father. 

Standing together, we feel ready to take on the world. We allow our imaginations to carry us to undiscovered countries and spectacular battles of righteous victory!

Sometimes my view of reality needs to be shifted a bit. Maybe you've experienced a similar scenario, you escape to the beach to only fill your thoughts with the worries of life. We somehow surrender our imaginative mind and fall victim to the villain of worry. Meanwhile, lighthouses, and visions of five year old little mermaids in front of cresting waves get lost in our horizon. But which then, is really real?

Life is worthy of a pause. To consider the scope of earth and the smallness of our problems. To wonder at the vastness of God and feel again the more than you can ask for or imagine greatness of walking this path as His child.

I loved watching my parents also gaze out at the ocean. It is amazing to see them enjoy my children. I give God thanks for this blessing. I know that life doesn't always shuffle out a fair deck to everyone, but I've learned to give thanks to God for all good things. His blessings outweigh our hardships.

I loved watching Sterling run out to the waiting arms of my wife, her mother. The waves were not match for strong will.

The symbolism of the sea is always powerful. The post-hurricane waters were still a threat, but Sterling ran willingly into them because her mother stood in the midst. Isn't this just how we all are to engage God? We find Him with open arms in the middle of our storms. 

And we find strength and beauty that is made possible by those strong circumstances. The human spirit shines out best  when we engage our path. The waters were cool, but Aleksandra joined the evening sunlight as she sparkled across the waves and dug all in for the experience. 

Caleb planted firm on the rock above the surf.
There will come a day when all this is memory. Our three kids will establish a life on their own. We want them to have what they need to stand strong. We want them to remember these unique days that we stood together as family.

Together we faced the unknown, and chose to embrace the beauty of the days. The fairy tale moments aren't mere escapes from reality... no, they are the shimmer of moments when our eyes open to the wonder that exists in this life shared together. We are made with the most magical of ingredients, terrestrial-earth, Spirit-breath, and God-likeness.

We are created image bearers of God. Our souls long for more than the busyness of life because we were created to be eternal beings that walked with God. The magic of His creation burns within us and calls us to live extraordinary lives... together. 

The fellowship of God is recalled when we spend time together as family, enjoying this creation that we are given, mourning the brokenness of the world, and yet... finding hope in His promise of full restoration with all things, as we catch glimpses of His goodness in each other. 

There is more that we have to celebrate than any amount of time we could waste on missing the wonder of Him that still lives in us. We are created and called to think on the things that are virtuous and praiseworthy. 

We find God in the storm, and we find God when we give Him praise while it rages. 

In this life there is always shade to cool, water to refresh, a song to sing, and magic to be embraced. 

The path leads ever onward. The time that we have to walk it together is short. May we walk it well. 

And, may we not lose sight that our story is an epic tale. We are created to live forever, and our time lines will be extended beyond these temporal moments. 

What now is only brief glimpses, will one day be our restored reality. So hold on to your magical moments until that day.

Even the birds get a bit of personified magic!

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  ~Philippians 4:8 ESV

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.  ~Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool[c] of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?  ~Genesis 3:8-9 ESV

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  ~Matthew 6:26-27 ESV

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