30 years ago our family was suckered into buying a timeshare on Anna Maria Island. Time shares are not the way to go because they restrict vacation flexibility, entangle you with property you do not truly own and over time do not save you much if any money. I must say it has worked out well for us because of the number of years we have owned the week we utilize at the property.
Having spent the same week ever year with the family at the same stretch of beach has made it a time of reflection. The beach is a good place for that anyway. A place were the water meets the land and you can sit and watch the sky. The beach is a prime place for family to grow close. Ever year I have contemplated how might life might change by the time I return for the following year. I have watch the families with their little ones as they grew and in some cases started families of their own.
For me nothing has changed. Sure my body continues to age and my time here becomes shorter. As I contemplated life and truth this year some themes were the same. I always think of people I desire to spend time with when I am away from them. In earlier years I was even able to invite them to visit and it was great fun. When I think of truth I am thinking of God. God is not only truth but He is love and this is the central desire of us all.
I had three thoughts in my head this year. One of them was born of the words spoken by my father who has been away in the kingdom for several years now. I remember him telling me that life is meant to be shared. He shared so much of himself with us during the time we were together. I have learned that I am most content when I am with people who make me forget about myself. This is when I feel most Christ like.
A second thought I had was brought on by the evening sky. As the earth’s horizon rotates above the sun at over 1000 miles per hour the most spectacular scenes unfold. On Tuesday evening this was especially true. I felt such a joy at what I was seeing and for me know the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob I can see it as a gift from my creator with His awareness of me at the very time I am witnessing it. There is such a peace in knowing that the God who designed the beauty of the heavens is providing everything I need in my daily walk. I realized that nothing in life can be truly appreciated for what it is without the knowledge of the one who brought it all into begin.
The third thought was about favor. All my life I have known that Jesus was a man described as having no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. It is also true that man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart. This has made me distrustful of favor based on what is attractive to the eye. I try to conduct myself in a way that makes me the least visible and attractive in the material sense. I try not to flatter or gift my way into anyone’s favor. I try to remain in the background not actively seeking attention but maintaining an availability and responding quickly with Christ like love and affection. This helps me to know who the Spirit is giving me favor with. This is true relationship!
What a great week this had been at the beach and I am grateful to God for it!