I’m alone except for a fisherman, a student hunched over a book, and two older ladies strolling along the coastline. The wind, slightly damp and seasoned with salt, plays with loose strands of my hair as I jog, following the line of wet sand. I’m training for my first 5K run in January. After just five minutes, I’ve confidently decided that beach running is my favorite.
My bare feet meet the moist ground, pounding out a regular rhythm as my eyes drink in the surrounding splendor. I use the time of solitude to pray and lean in toward my Father’s heart. “What do you want to show me today?” I ask.
Moments later my eyes catch sight of something shining in the sand. I stop, curiously observing the translucent blob lying in my path. I look around and spot another, tangled in a pile of seaweed. I’m mesmerized. Are these jellyfish? How long have they been here? Are they dead? Would anything have happened if I’d stepped on them? I make a mental note to return and show the kids my discovery at the end of my run.
Resuming my pace, I continue my jog. The waves lap around my feet like puppies biting at shoestrings. Once again, something catches my eye and I halt. A sand dollar, perfectly circular, lies ensconced within its shore-lined bed. Pulling back its covers of sand, I clean it in the surf and tuck it safely in my pouch. No sooner is my treasure locked away, than a second dollar comes into view. Minutes slip past as I tuck forty dollars worth of treasure away for safe keeping.
My stride returns as I refocus my efforts toward forward motion. As my prayer conversation continues, I realize God has just gifted me a life lesson. Much like this run, my day often begins with forward motion toward accomplishing a particular task or goal. The key is to remain prayerfully alert and attentive as I progress in that direction. Doing so will allow me the discernment to navigate around potentially problematic situations while also being aware of precious people or valuable opportunities that God has placed within my path.
If I can respond and adjust to the ways that God might choose to edit my plans, I gain the unexpected blessing of being useful for His service. As someone who is more task/goal orientated, this does not come naturally. However, I believe God wants (and deserves) the creative license to rearrange my plans. If I can embrace rather than resist His efforts, I know lasting treasure awaits.
“If you’re always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you’re in?” Nanette Mathews
-Thanks to an online investigation, the kids and I ascertained that moon jellies had washed ashore. Although they do have a sting, it is not toxic or strong enough to penetrate human skin. We were enthralled to handle them and identify their various body parts.
-We stayed at the Morro Dunes RV Park and loved our proximity to the beach. After discovering that they had a monthly rate of $650-$750 during the off-season, we asked ourselves, “When can we come back?”
-If you visit this area in the fall/winter months, be sure not to miss these hidden treasures:
a) Visit the Pismo Beach State Park to see the wintering Monarch Butterflies coating the tree branches (it’s free).
b) Check out the elephant seals that have migrated south from the area of Alaska to San Simeon. They come to mate and give birth and you can view them in close proximity from a lookout area above the beach (also free).
How about you? Are you naturally more task or people orientated? Do you find it difficult to adjust when something (or someone) halts the progress of your day?