I love walking along the shore. Tranquil mornings, glorious sunsets, and angry surf. Today the surf was up. Today, the eternal battle rages between the sea and shore. Immense energies are unleashed when the wave has travelled with the wind at its back- and then hurls itself into an explosion of spray and a boom that shakes the world.
it’s one of my favourite places to pray. In all its moods, the ocean holds dialogue with the sky and shore: and in that moment an Awesomeness becomes Present… or perhaps I become present to the Awesome One who is waiting for my attention. That’s the beginning of prayer. Sometimes I add words. Often I simply listen. When my imagination is fired up, it is as if Jesus stands beside me, enjoying the spectacle laid on for me that day. “Look, Richard, here’s one I prepared earlier… put it in your spirit and simmer gently until your heart softens…”
Moments like that remind me of George. He discovered faith later in life, and had a supply of simple-sounding BIG questions about “hearing God” and making sense of the moments when life had its surf up. He reached safe harbour last year, and all his questions are sorted now. But he’d have liked today’s walk on the beach.
My thought from today’s walk: when the tide’s in and the surf’s up, when life is being battered, it’s definitely time to cling to the Rock.
These rocks have been placed here to protect part of the coastline which would be inundated by storm and high tides. Huge rocks sit passively absorbing the impact, deflecting the energy, and breaking the will of the water. My sense is that Jesus Christ, the Rock of Ages, places Himself in harm’s way when we are imperilled by the storms. Stay safe, cling on to the Rock, keep behind His shielding Presence. I was daft enough to get a bit close and a wave saw me coming- and spat in my eye! But it was only icy cold spray, enough to remind me who was strong- and who fights the eternal battle for me. If I’d fallen in, or been dragged in by the surf, that would have been a very short struggle…
Luke 6 v48: “They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.”
Psalm 62:2 “He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken (or soaked/drowned…)”