Last night after reading the first half of Dangerous Wonder, by Michael Yaconelli I knew I was going to be scheduling a date with God.
When I got up this morning I hurried to get ready, bound and determined not to get sidetracked from my day with God. I made it out the door by 8:30 and headed down hwy 9 to Santa Cruz. As I drove I asked God where we should head, the only place coming to mind was The Abbey So that is where I ended up. I ordered my coffee and spent hours praying. It was good. I bumped into (never an accident on days like this)two friends, and got to talk with each of them about Rome and also about what God is doing in their lives. After I finished my second cup of coffee and the table next to me became distracting, I took off.
By that time it was past noon and I was feeling a bit hungry, so I headed to Pacific Garden Mall to have some lunch. My favorite lunch downtown is at Acapulco I ordered my favorite, Carnitas! Go try them, you won't regret it! (unless you are a vegetarian, then it might make you ill.) As I ate I finished the Dangerous Wonder a book all about recapturing a child like faith. A no holding back faith, a faith that allows for questions and for play. It is a great book and I finished it in less than a day. (that is something for me, not a fast reader)There are more posts to be written in regards to the book, but not today. Today I am going to tell you about my time with God at the beach.
I felt God inviting me to play, and since I love the beach and it is free, I decided that would be a good place. I got to 3rd Ave. Beach one of my favorites, parked the car and then stood up above the beach looking down enjoying the view. At the same time realizing that standing there was not really playful. So I removed the heels, the sweater, the scarf (not in that order) and made my way down to the beach. I loved the sand between my toes, the warmth of it on a cool day brought joy to my feet. I wandered till I found a piece of drift wood, and I safely plopped my self down on it and looked out at the crashing waves.
Beautiful, but not really playing. So I slid down into the sand resting my back against the log and let myself day dream, take in and just begin to relax. As I leaned back into the drift wood I began to think about that piece of wood. It occurred to me that in some ways the log and I are very much alike. It used to be somewhere else and at one point was planted, rooted to the only ground it had ever known. If it were to have human attributes it may have felt it knew its purpose in life, it may have been pretty satisfied with the status quo. But some how that tree became dislodged, and had been carried likely by a river into the massive ocean to one day be washed up along the shore. At first glance now you would call it drift wood. You may not even really give it a second thought, it just blends in there like it has always been a part of this land. That is how I long to be soon. Virtually blending in with my new surroundings in Rome. Carried by a force (God) so much bigger than I can wrap my mind around to a new place, but a place where I belong at this point in my journey. I could tell looking at the driftwood and using my imagination that it's journey had not been easy, and maybe it was not even over, but it was serving a great purpose where it was at the moment, as my backrest and more importantly as my doorway into a conversation with God.
Did I mention the sun began to shine just on me? I loved that little gift.
Then I felt God nudging me to to play in the sand. I said I did not feel much like playing in the sand, maybe I could just sit. I moved my feet around a bit to satisfy Him.
No, the invite came again, play. I looked around, there were others around, what would they think of a 29 year old playing in a pile of sand on a Monday afternoon, without any kids? Oh who cares I gave in I, I am moving soon anyway.
I dug into the sand getting to the cold wet sand moving it about. Not sure what to do with it. I felt a sand castle was asking a bit much given I had not brought along a bucket or shovel. So I just continued to push the sand. The thought came, to make a heart, but I resisted, feeling it too girlish and predictable. Then I began to shape Italy. I formed a boot clearing away the sand. I heard God whisper again about a heart, but I just focused on Italy, trying to recall which way the boot was supposed to face, then I remembered that it looks as though the toe will kick Sicily. So I adjusted accordingly. There I had lost myself in playing, and was pretty satisfied with the out come of my sand art. I snapped a picture on my phone so I could remember playing with God. Then I stood up ready to go. As I got up and moved out of the way I finally saw it. I saw that while I was forming Italy God had formed a heart.
God and I played in the sand today, and it was a day at the beach I will not quickly forget. It was such a great reminder that God not only cares about me, he cares about the things I care about, our hearts at this time very much inline with each other. God knows my heart, and created it for His purpose, and what fun to rediscover that today in the midst of play.
Go play with God! I dare you!!! I double dog dare you!!! Be a kid, let Him be your Dad and see what fun you will have as you just play together.