We spent a few days at the beach last week. It was beautiful! It was a major undertaking to get the four of us off work for the same days, but we did it and were blessed.
The ocean speaks to me of God’s majesty. When I am on the beach I am aware of how small I really am. This is due to the vastness of the water before me, but also to the way it all works. The tides, the waves, the eco-system—so many actions of wonder! It reminds me that God is God and I am not.
There was a flaw, though, a blight on the beauty and perfection. There was a high level of algae in the water while we were there. On the calmer days, the algae clumped into sections and you could wade through these to get to the clear water. On the days when the waves were more vigorous, the algae were spread evenly throughout the water. It was annoying. Why couldn’t the water be clear?
My practice each morning was to walk on the beach for an hour—just where the waves met the sand. It kept my feet and legs cool and when that didn’t suffice, I would wade in deeper. During one of these wades, I walked through a clump of algae and saw the hundreds of tiny fish living there. As I walked further, the fish became bigger—still small, hidden until one was right on top of them. The algae served a purpose, several in fact. It was home to the fish and I’m sure fed them with the smaller organisms in it’s midst. It is a significant part of the eco-system.
God took my thoughts to the difficulties I face in my work at times. I fight against those difficulties—politics, challenging people, folks who don’t agree with me—they are a flaw, a blight to the beauty and perfection of my wonderful work. Ah, but might they serve a purpose? Perhaps even be significant for my work? My first reaction is “no!” But, that is a small view. A wise friend once told me that if everyone agreed with me, I would not have clarity in what I think. Yes, that is true. I choose my battles and fight for what is important to me. I search deeply and define what is of God. Can I let go of this battle or is it at the heart of what God has called me to?
Maybe it is time to give thanks for the algae in my life. On days when I see with clarity, the algae are clumped into sections and it is easy to distinguish where to fight. On the rougher days, it seems to spread into every arena of my life. Either way, these battles can draw my attention to God and to what God has called me to be.
Peace and grace to you,