I’d rather be there, than here.I know I have to be here, but I will still daydream about there. I will close my eyes and be there.
Where the salty water meets the sand. Where the breeze blows and the waves crash.
A place that seems like the edge of the Earth. Somewhere that mimics Heaven itself. Somewhere I see all of God’s glory in every detail.
Yes, I’d rather be there, but I know I’m needed here.
Growing up I could look out of every window in my tiny home and see corn, hay, and soybeans growing. Cow pastures would pop up in between the mix and the only bodies of water were the local lakes and creeks. I was, and still am, proud of where I came from. It was a working man’s country, small, but big in pride. And I shared that pride with my entire community. I was happy to be apart of old Small Town, U.S.A.
Now, as an adult, I look back on those memories fondly, still inhabiting the same proud smile on my face. At this point in my life, I can now look out of every window in my home and see the ocean. My grass has now become sand and my local lakes and creeks have turned into sea, sound, and estuaries.
Every morning, as I stroll the water’s edge, I am rewarded with simple treasures of seashells and sea glass. Such little gestures that fill almost every empty bottle and mason jar in my home. With each step I keep my gaze on the horizon, anticipating the arrival of the sun. The dark colors of night have faded as the morning colors have began to swirl, creating God’s masterpiece. Just as the hues begin to brighten and deepen, the sun makes it’s way gradually over the seal the sky and ocean have created.
All in one breathtaking moment, the sun has made an entrance, cascading light across the white sand. I’m drawn to the sight before me and although, I would love to stay where the water meets the shore, I am needed back at my home to prepare for work. I may not travel from my home for my career, but I do have to make it a point to stay out of my backyard until my work is finished.
After I think I can’t stand one more minute of my day, I am surprised with the fact that my day is actually over. My afternoon plays out similarly to my morning. I walk where the edge of land meets the edge of water. I collect glass and shells just as I did 8 hours ago. Even though my routine is the same day in and day out, I couldn’t ask for anything more. I wouldn’t trade my backyard for all the riches in the world.
We sit here together, He and I. We bask in the sun and soak up as many rays as we can, before He is called to His heavenly duties. He brought me to this place a long time ago.
I came here a tourist, but left as a local. He opened my eyes to the beach’s prominent beauty, I had never seen before. He opened my ears to His Word. He opened my soul to Him, with just a single crashing wave.
I speak with God on a regular back home, but this place is where I hear Him. Where I see Him. Where I know He walks with me hand in hand. Where I know I am one with Him. He gave me this beach, this island, to catch my full attention and mute the daily struggles of life back home.
So, now we sit with one another in the sand in glorified peace;Simply breathing the tradewinds in and out as the breeze sweeps over the beach. The waves crash as I listen to Him. He hangs the sun high as I speak with Him. Not one moment passes where I can’t feel His Holy presence.
As He lets the sun slowly fall into the salty waters, He paints for me the most beautiful sky, with just a flick of his finger. The reds, oranges, and pinks swirl with the blues and purples, causing the most iridescent waves to crash. He portrays just a little of what I will see when it is my turn to join His kingdom.
I know each day here with Him is a foreshadow to my heavenly days to come. I can only smile and ask rhetorically how blessed can I be?
I have sat here so many times before. I yearn to sit in the sand under his slouch and prudent stance. This palm, he knows more about me than I even know myself. He has seen more of me than I even knew was there. I can’t help but feel the need to sit in the sand under his swaying protection. I can remember each time I’ve shared with him. He has been my confidant and a place to sit and stare out at my constant. I revel in the moments where I enjoy his company and am able to feel the warm sand cascade over my legs as I carefully spill the grains from my pruned hands.
He and the ocean go hand in hand. Throughout all my emotional states, they are there through thick and thin. In uncommon phases, the ocean, she offers a place for me to exert my bottled energy and the palm, he offers me a place of healing solitude. Even in my wildest storms, she will allow me to tear myself up and he will give me a place to calm down. In most of my phases, she bestows me with the strength that God has given her. And he gives me a grounded God-fearing purpose.
As I continue to sit with my head resting on his trunk and my eyes fixated on her iridescent, pulsating waves I can only feel as if I am at the closest place to Heaven. I am at the place where God wants me to be.