The beaches in Mexico are out of this world. White sand, clear water. And empty as far as the eye can see. For eight years we lived sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, our lifeline to survive the desert heat.
Every few days, when the work had devoured our energy, and the stress had cluttered our minds, we would pack a cooler and head to the beach. The kids would snorkel for Sergeant Majors and search the rocks for hermit crabs. I would stretch out in my chair under the umbrella and read my next novel. My husband, Peter, would get in the water and never leave.
You think, Imagine that. How awesome it would be. Only a short drive from one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. I would love that. And you would be right … at least in the beginning.
Somewhere, along the line, the beach began to meld into routine. It lost its glimmer and took on the form of a task. Another thing to be done. It became effort and boredom. A burden in the end. And no one wanted to go, except Peter. He hung on until he found himself going alone.
A beautiful thing became saturated in our world. We lost the eyes to see it.
I am amazed at how well our senses become dulled from overuse. This is a good thing, in some instances, to avoid sensory overload.
The cold water becomes tolerable.
The unpleasant odor dissipates.
The yelling becomes background noise.
But it’s not always good.
Our favorite song becomes obnoxious.
The food we loved, tasteless.
We no longer recognize the beauty in our hands.
The day forgets its joy.
And life loses its contentment.
All from saturation.
Did you see that sunset? Yeah, I’ve seen it a thousand times.
Again, I am no theologian. But, I wonder if that’s what Jesus meant when he said, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?” (Matthew 5:13)
This is a challenge, especially for the one who’s been a Christian a long time. The stories get old and lose their spark. And time spent in scripture becomes a chore. A task. A burden.
We stop hearing God’s voice.
But, one day, we went to the beach. My husband had found a new cove where the kids could jump off the rocks into the water. Same beach. New discovery. For hours they jumped, and laughed, and played. Before we were home, they asked if we could go again the next day. They had found the treasure. It was always there. They just hadn’t seen it.
Today, I opened my Bible and read, “I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” (Isaiah 49:16). I’ve been a Christian my whole life. I never read that. The idea that I am engraved on the palm of God’s hand is beyond comprehension. And suddenly, I am swept away into the magnificent reality of God’s love for me. It’s life changing. And I want more. I want to go back and discover the treasures hidden there.
Why did my husband never tire of the beach? Because he never lost sight of its glory.
May you find the beauty of the new hiding in the normal of today.