It was July 4th, the restaurant was closed and so a group of us gathered for a day at the beach. Someone brought a volleyball which quickly gathered folks together for an intense but friendly game. Tired after the game, the ball was left by the shoreline as we retreated to blankets for cool refreshing drinks, relaxation, and conversation. While we were conversing, the tide continued to rise to the spot where we had left the volleyball. We were having fun and good conversation: oblivious to the tide or the volleyball connecting.
By the time we did notice, the volleyball was quite a distance out in the water; probably at the edge of what was a safe distance for swimmers. Someone from our group darted into the water and began swimming after the ball. I admired his ability. He was soon almost to the ball; however, with every stroke he took the ball seemed to more just that much farther away. We watched this repeat performance from the shore for about 15 – 20 minutes. My admiration of his ability turned to worry as he was a considerable distance from the shore and no ball was worth getting too tired in the water, leaving him without the strength to get back in. Finally, to many of us in the group’s relief, he turned and swam back safety to the shore.
That memory happened many years ago, but has stuck with me reminding me of important lessons. The volleyball ball was free floating. It had no anchor. Had it been attached to a cord, it would have floated about the water, but it would have only gotten so far. While I can never get out of God’s reach, I often go off by myself, floating adrift, doing my own will. Unless I am anchored to God through some spiritual practice, life can be meaningless and seem like a ball adrift in the water. If you don’t have a spiritual practice or need some suggestions creating one, please speak with me.
The story also reminds me to be pay attention to the small things in life, but when the small unimportant things begin to impact and threaten healthy, abundant life: let them go. Being able to prioritize what is important in your life will help here. Try the practice of journaling to assist you.
In Christ’s Light and Love,