I am a man, in the middle of life. What that means to me, you and us is what I hope to frame in my attempts at this.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The ocean and the fear

Ocracoke31/120701 -- North Beach on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina.

We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking.

DCB-Oh How He Loves

I can remember, two distinct times where the ocean tried to get the better of me. Both of which were in Hawaii, both on different areas of the island, and both left me with mixed feelings-each with their own experience and degree of intensity.

The first I can recall put me in the ocean and had me getting flipped over and over at Sherwood Forest beach on the island of Oahu. I can recall multiple flips and tumbles, each putting me just out of my comfort zone. These left me with a feeling of no control and no certainty-as if my body was subject to the waves and nothing could step in. I saw a man and another person coming in from scuba-diving, and while asking me for help, I frantically pushed off of the man’s shoulders to propel myself back towards the shore. He seemed surprised and probably a little ticked off, but I got to where I needed to be.

The second was on the shores of Waikiki a few years later, and I walked out on a sandbar while the sis and mom hung out on the beach, and dad snorkeled….I can recall walking so far because it was a sandbar, and I was barely waist deep early in the morning sun. Well, come high noon or so, after I got tired of hanging out on the sandbar, I started to walk back. But I soon learned the water was now much deeper, closer to 8-10 feet-and anything deeper than you are shoulder-high is too deep. So I swam, and I swam hard and for a while to get back to where I needed to be on the shore. Exhausted, I made it back to the shore.

The water, the oceans-the idea of drowning scares me. It eats at my core, putting a chill in me when I think about it. My kids are awesome swimmers; they are fish in the water. The just trust it and do it and love it. Somewhere along the line my fear became real and made loving the water hard. I can swim, and I do it-but I don’t hold it as a favorite love like they do.

Grace is an ocean. The kids get it, they love it and they embrace it. Sometimes, in the same way I struggle with the water and fight it harder than I need to-I do the same with God’s grace and the way He draws us into it, asking us only to be engulfed by it. I want to sink into that ocean.

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