I always love going home. The beauty astounds me.
I grew up on the Alabama Gulf Coast and love it. But it’s a little more than just loving it, it’s in my blood. The majority of my earliest memories are of water skiing up and down the canal, fishing off the coast of Orange Beach, shrimping in Perdido Bay, and sitting at the end of our pier drinking coffee and watching beautiful sunsets with my family.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had a beach fix in years. Like many of you, our family loves the surf and sand, so we’ve been anticipating a vacation to Blue Mountain Beach, Fla.
I’d been looking forward to a time to “chill out” and decompress. The beach is my place to do just that.
Our kids and their families would be joining Jeanne and me the day after we had arrived. Our daughter, Wendy, called and said our 4-year-old grandson, Davis, said to her, “I can’t wait to see what the beach looks like.” It hadn’t dawned on any of us that Davis had never seen the Gulf, the sand dunes, the beach, or the vast horizon.
Late that next afternoon when Wendy’s family arrived, we walked a couple hundred yards to the beach. Blue Mountain Beach is not exactly a mountain, but it is reportedly the highest point on the Gulf Coast, a whopping 64 feet above sea level. However, from even that vantage point you get an excellent vista.
As we reached the top of the dunes, seeing the great body of water before him and sugar white beaches stretching as far as he could see to his right and to his left, Davis’ eyes were as wide as saucers. “Wow, it’s so big!” he exclaimed with giddy excitement. I wish you could have seen that kid at that special moment and experience his enthusiasm.
I can only imagine how it must have blessed the Heavenly Father’s heart to see, hear, and feel the child’s astonishment at and genuine appreciation of His creation. The Psalmist writes, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the expanse proclaims the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1). Little Davis didn’t need to be a theologian in that moment to understand the greatness of God. He was looking at it in wide-eyed wonder.
I’m afraid we sometimes get so familiar with what God has done and is doing that we lose the awe of Him and the wonder of the work of His hands. Our worship lacks wide-eyed wonder. Our cynical and critical spirits; our pride and arrogance; our harshness and hardness; our “been there, done that” attitudes dull our vision for the majesty of God. Real worship is stepping back from all that and taking up a child’s heart of simplistic faith that is blown away by God’s grace, greatness, power, majesty, and love.
Take a Sabbath moment and really see the next sunset, mountain, flower, or friend. Experience His mercy like it was the first time. Let God’s beauty astound you. You might just exclaim, “Wow! Our God is so big!”
It is a joy to be on this journey with you.