Throughout my life, in times of trouble there seemed to be only the thought of one thing that calmed my soul…the sea. I needed to figure out why this particular element of the earth was calling out to me so strong, why it had such a grip on my life. It wasn’t until I stopped thinking about this reprieve that. I received my answer.
As a kid there was something about the water that was so peaceful to my healing. It was a place that was so vast that my troubles seemed to pale in comparison. I didn’t get to visit the sea as a kid but that didn’t stop the beckoning.
Ever since I could remember there was almost a magnetic pull to the point that I would create jokes to cover the longing my heart had to be at the waters edge. As I got older it seemed so obvious to me that my jokes of being a direct descendent to Poseidon was actually a marker of something way greater.
I grew up in small town Ohio USA. I was located in the central portion so the wonderful Great Lakes were never far away. In particular Lake Erie was the closest and it rang with many great memories of freedom and solace to my heart. I wanted to spend as much time as I could there just so I could marvel in the majesty of the great works called the Great Lakes.
As I got older the lake was simply not enough to satisfy my craving. I found myself dreaming of much bigger bodies of water like the ocean. When I finally got to experience the ocean for the first time I honesty can tell you that I felt like I was home. Whenever I was there my worries and troubles seemed to fade but the call to take me to greater depths of the water was stirred to the point that it was consuming my thoughts. I thought I understood why this was happening, it was so obvious the sea was a place of relaxation my heart needed to be at ease. I never put much more thought into this theory until it actually became a driving force. I found myself to the point of tears because I wanted so badly to be a part of the water. I wanted to experience all the mysteries it had held and despite the mysteries I was aware of I wanted to have the peace the sea beckoned for. Something was off! Why was I feeling a call to be a part of something I as a human was never intended to be? Why was just being at the water not enough but wanting to be a part of the water made me feel complete?
As an adult I got to experience the ocean and all its vastness many times over. Each time I knew of the opportunity to go I was alive with anticipation, I felt complete. I would research and analyze all the best spots to be so I could get the most out of the beauty. When we would arrive at the ocean, from the minute I would step put of the car I had a magnetic pull over me to come closer. It didn’t matter who was with me or around me I would go off literally being pulled into a direction that my emotions were finding satisfaction.
One day when I was walking along the beach in La Jolla, San Diego California that something felt very different. I was in a new territory that I had never seen and tide was low so I was able to walk further then I had ever ventured before. I thought for sure this would satisfy my craving until I walked up on a man sitting on the rocks that would typically be submerged. This man was not doing anything other than sitting there looking out. At that moment it was like I could feel his distress and the contemplation that was running through his mind. Every being in my body was telling me this man was lost and the sea was offering him some perspective. While observing him from afar I felt and noticed so much anguish. I can honestly tell you it felt like he was contemplating his place with the sea before he took his decent into the murky waters and rushing tides to be home once and for all. Of course I don’t really know if this is what he was thinking but perhaps it was a wake up for me to realize what I had been contemplating. I moved past that spot just allowing him to have his time but a new seed was planted in my head.
From the moment of this siting on to today I started to view the sea a bit different. The sea was still calling to me but it suddenly had a darker more ominous look about it. The place of serenity now became a place of final resting. It got so bad that I openly said that I didn’t believe in taking my own life but if I ever did I would just walk out in the sea and never come back. What??? The sea was to be a final resting place for my weary bones, this was so concerning.
Ill be honestly I never put much more thought into the sea until I hit my extreme lows. I needed to figure out why my pull of peace now became a pull of something greater than me. It wasn’t until that fateful day that I started to see what was happening.
My thoughts of the sea were as I described early, revering, majestic and all consuming. It was a place that I didn’t have control but the control it had on me was completely acceptable. See I put the sea itself above the creator of the sea. Instead of feeling pulled and loved by my maker I felt that way about one of his creations…totally displaced my priorities.The sea didn’t just form out of no where so why in the world was all my attention on this and not God?
My eyes were starting to open as what order I was worshipping in my life. I started to understand that instead of the sea beckoning me it was actually taunting me. It was being used as a vehicle to misconstrue my eternal devotion. To simplify, the sea was being used to draw my attention of reliance so I didn’t need to seek help in the right way. The water didn’t hold the majesty the creator did, another revelation.
I began to dig deeper in my walk to discover how easy the enemy uses something we love so much, that we actually covet physically, to pull our hearts and minds away from God. This wasn’t my nature to accept what was right in front of me as my end all beat all, no it was time to make some change.
My change started with this journey that has brought me back to the place of my childhood, the place where all the feelings that the sea was covering up for me. Since I was realizing what was going on in my life this was the time for healing I had prayed for and the time of great reveal.
In these great revelations I suddenly seen the sea for what it was, an escape. Not just any escape but an escape from reality. I had put the call of the sea at the top of my list in the fight or flight mode. When I was scared or upset the voice of the sea was so loud, calling me to come home. Was this God or was this a temptation to not deal with the real issues? I was flying.
Today I have a different view of the sea and with that view I am noticing the call becoming muted. Suddenly when I seen the waters as a draw away fromGod but to something I can see, the diversion had been perfectly planted. I don’t want to be diverted from God because he is in fact the one who made the sea.
I know that we all have things in this world that draws us in, but is it the visual stimulus we are drawn to, the distraction, or are we projecting our problems on something that by itself cant solve a single problem?
I know that in my instance something so beautiful was making me realize I was still feeding into the problems of the world and listening to the wrong voices in my head. I have no need for the sea without God and simply put, the sea wouldn’t exist without the maker of heavens an earth.
I would like to challenge you to dig deep and analyze that peace you get when you see or feel something. Is that peace real or is it fleeting? Is the draw to something or someone feeding into the anxious feeling when you are not in its presence?
I am not a descendent of Poseidon, I am a decedent of God who has made the waters to provide something he knew I would need. The need still lays on him to show me what he has created, not the creation itself. I am and will continue to find my rest in the place that God has guided me to. I know this isn’t easy but it is necessary.
I still love the sea but hands down I love and trust God more!