This week I’m at a conference in Southern California. Last night I walked along the beach, listening to the Pacific Ocean roar as its waves crashing against the beach. As I walked, I was reminded awesome my God is, and yet I stayed on the walkway…not along the sand. Partly this was because by the time I could get to the beach it was already dark. I knew it wasn’t safe to walk on the sand alongside the waves when I couldn’t see. Yet it felt like I was half there — half committed to the experience and half not.
Does anybody else ever feel that way? Like you have committed to the experience but you’re not fully living because you’re walking on the safe path instead of feeling the sand between your toes?
I know God has so much more for us. He wants us to experience everything fully and completely. Sometimes we simply can’t. Maybe we feel like He hasn’t completely opened the door or maybe He’s opened too many doors. Either way we can’t quite commit to the fullness of the experience.
Is it fear that holds us back? The fear that if we step into what we can’t see, we will get hurt? Or maybe we will miss God in the dark? Or fill in your favorite fear.
We might get hurt. We might get wet. And we might just experienced the fullness of all God has for us. But we’ll never know as long as we’re halfway in and halfway out.
Ironically, I dictated this post as I walked along the path in the dark. The light of my iPhone pretty effectively destroyed my night vision. All I was left with was the feeling of the sand beneath my tennis shoes and the roar of the waves. And occasionally the sight of the twinkling lights of fire at the hotel — in fire pits — quite safe I’m sure.
Yet as I ended the walk I felt hope that at least once during this week I will have the chance to take off my shoes and walk along the beach. Then I will feel the sand between my toes and dance in the waves. Oh to live like that — not just dream about it.
As I turned back to the hotel as darkness had fallen even more deeply, I noticed something. A man walked the beach swinging a metal detector back-and-forth. Ever on the hunt for more treasure. To live like that. Seeking the treasures and wonders of God — even on the darkest of nights.