Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Where have you been?

Again, October is a busy, busy month for us, so blogging is probably going to continue to be a little slower than usual. We are still smack dab in the middle of the birthday extravaganza (Kathryn's was today and Thomas' birthday cake is cooling on the stove as I type...), and we're on vacation to boot, so like I said... blogging is a bit slow.

Speaking of vacations, I have to say that reading the first chapter of Genesis takes on a whole new dimension when read on a balcony right on the beach. I was sitting next to the open window at night as I read about "the Spirit hovered over the waters" and God separating the firmaments and dividing the seas with dry land... wow... all that darkness out there, coupled with the constant, loud sound of the waves crashing on the beach makes it even more powerful. The full moon adds a nice touch as I read about God establishing the lights in the sky... and the lesser one to rule the night.

Being here next to the shore, looking out at all that expansive "nothingness" out there, with just the light of the moon to see by, has really made two things stand out:

1. I am so very small compared to all of this, and even smaller compared to the God who created it all, and

2. who are we, that He would go to the trouble of creating this world for us?

I mean -- seriously -- if our temporary abode is this breathtakingly beautiful, what is our eternal home going to look like? I always find myself blown away by the attention to details; take, for example, the creatures that they are just now discovering at the bottom of the ocean. Gazillions of them have come and gone... each one seen only by God... and yet, even though there was no audience, He STILL made each one of those creatures unique. He doesn't fudge on the details, even when no one else will see it but Him. THAT amazes the heck out of me.

The sound of the ocean is pretty incredible, too.

Believe it or not, I have NEVER had the opportunity -- until now -- to be by myself at the beach. I have always been with someone, whether it be children or my husband, so I've never had that "meditate on the ocean" experience. However, the kids are down and my sweet husband is next to me on the couch, fast asleep, and I find myself all alone with my thoughts... and the roar of that ocean.

I am not a beach person, but the sound of the waves crashing against the sand right now is shouting "power!" and "awesomeness!" in a way I just can't begin to describe. I stand here looking down from my balcony, and realize that if God so chose, these waves could be whipped up into hurricane proportions, and my third storey place of safety would vanish.

Which brings me to my next point...

This whole economic crisis has brought about some pretty interesting late night "moments with God". A few nights ago, I found myself darn close to a panic attack as I allowed myself to imagine everything from becoming destitute to the whole world returning to some form of primitive barter system to world-wide persecution of Christians as we are dragged from our homes and forced to recant or die.

Did I mention I tend to be dramatic and pessimistic?

Anyway, as I thought through all these horrible scenarios, I found myself clinging to anything that brought me back to "normal" -- a song on the radio, or Andy Griffith on TV, or whatever. My brain kept leaping from these overly dramatic (yet not out of the realm of possibility) "what ifs?" to the equally absurd "but that can't happen because [insert inane bit of pop culture that brings back a bit of normalcy]."

I was STUNNED at all the ridiculous, absurd things I am holding on to for security. As my thoughts flitted from one inane object to another I found myself getting chastised for each one: "Really, Ouiz? You think that a song... or a TV show... a favorite food... a group of friends... or whatever will be that island of safety for you?"

All the things that I think of as normal, constant, and unchanging really aren't. I didn't realize before that I was leaning so heavily on things that will someday pass away... and I find that thought terrifying.

I guess I'm just being called to remember that no matter what the future may hold... no matter how different things look in the future... the same God who created that powerful ocean out there... who holds it back at His own command... is holding us all in the palm of His hand.

And those are just a few of my beachside musings.

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