"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Here Goes!!!!!!

Well, I've been wanting to do this for some time now -- but being "in my 50," (as "Big Mama" use to say -- I figure when I hit 50 next year, I will already be prepared for it!), I'm pretty, shall we say, inept when it comes to blogging. But at the encouragement of Leonard Sweet who said in order to keep up with the culture in which I'm living, it's something I must do. So, here I go. My first attempt... [I guess my greatest fear is if anybody will even read the thing. Maybe my mom will. But that's a start. So, thanks, Mom.]

Above my bed hang two prints: each of a butterfly. One says, "hearing the voice God in the silence." The other: "seeing the holy in the ordinary." Of the latter, I'm not one to normally do that, but I try. So this blog is about that. Looking for God in the ordinary moments and then creating this space as a way in which to communicate it.

Last week I spent a couple of hours at the beach on Tybee. It's got to be one of my most favorite things to do: get there early, find a swing, and, well... swing. If not for the heat that seems to take over the day, I could sit there until sunset. But after about 30 or 45 minutes of watching the waves (and people -- another favorite activity), I was encouraged by my man to take a walk. And since it was our anniversary, I thought it appropriate that I comply. It wasn't long before we spotted a couple of dolphins feeding just off the shore. Sandy said they were within a hundred yards, but it looked more like about 20 feet to me. Anyway, they seemed to "walk" with us the entire expanse of our trek down the beach. Even when we stopped to watch them, they stopped. How fun it was. Groups would gather and point. On one occasion, a cluster of young people came to the shore and asked us, "What are those?" When I told them dolphins, they said, "Are you sure?" Jaws plays on everybody's mind this time of year, you know. When they were convinced, one of the girls strode out into the (cold) water and began making her way into the deep to get as close as she could -- maybe even to PET one. Now how cool would that be? (Sandy did inform me that they bite so maybe it's not as cool as I thought.) However, my husband proved right once again in that God's playful creatures were more than 20 feet off shore, and before too long, the girl was headed back in -- or else she'd be looking for a quick date with one of the life guards.

It also became necessary for us to turn around, as we had not brought any sunscreen. But on my way back to the boardwalk, I thought to myself: is that not like so many of our relationships with the Lord? We are so content to just sit back and swing -- taking in this great view of God and, of course, enjoying Him immensely. We go to church, have our daily devotions, pray, even take in a Bible study or two. But then we are encouraged to move in a little closer and become a little more involved. God starts messing with us a little bit. He begins to show us the necessity of rearranging some things in our lives. Not for Him, of course. For us. To set us free from some things that bind and show us some things that delight. Quite honestly, moving from that swing where I was very satisfied caused me some discomfort. I had to exert some energy. I had to walk in the sun instead of swing in the shade, for crying out loud. But I would have missed the dolphins -- because I was content. And not really putting forth any effort in my relationship with the Christ, I would miss a part of Him that He wants to reveal to me. And then there was the young woman who dared to live life with passion. She wanted to get as close as possible -- even if it threw her in danger. But, oh, the thrill! Truth is, I was envious, because I wanted to live like that. I wanted to swim and play with the dolphins. I was reminded of Sir Francis Drake's prayer: "Disturb us, Lord, ... when our dreams have come true because we have dreamed too little, when we arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore." Or in this case, wouldn't leave the shore. So often we trade our passions for our fears. I know I do.

So -- passionate living. It's been a theme of several of my readings lately (Erwin McManus, Leonard Sweet, and even John Tesh), and it was the theme that day on the beach. It was just an ordinary moment spent in an ordinary way. But it made me want to lay down some fears and walk out into the deep. After all, that's where the dolphins play.

11 comments:

Robert said...

Hey mom... Those poor dolphins just wanted to play and feed. How would you feel if every time you sat down to dinner so nosey kid started running across the yard and looked in the window at you? Just kiddin. I guess we're officially blogging buddies. Catch ya later.

Anonymous said...

You reed too much.

Anonymous said...

You do read alot... I think that is what makes passionate living passionate living.

Ps 8:1 O Lord, our Lord, the majesty of your name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the Heavens.

This is Charles

Julie said...

You have always had a gift for words and for seeing HIM in the ordinary things. Thanks for encouraging me to do the same.

Write on...

Kristin said...

Thank you for always speaking Truth and Life into us!! Love you!

Patti said...

That was awesome!!!!! Made me teary! I do sooo want to swim with the dolphins!! You can do it in a controlled environment at some animal parks, you know. Anyway I still struggle with fears sometimes when it comes to taking leaps of faith in serving. I will look for the holy in the ordinary and share with you!

constantlyrunningtoHim said...

So proud of you for beginning this new endeavor! Go girl! Whoomp! (more later)

(this is KA)

Marianne said...

Nancy, loved your blog. Keep writing. Makes me want to go to the beach. "That to which your heart clings is your God."
Martin Luther

Marianne

Glenn said...

Way to GO NANCY! I, too, need to ease on into the 20th century. (52!)

Q said...

What's a blog?

twindent said...

Do dophins bite?
Yada, yada, yada.
Q