by Berry Simpson
There I was sitting on the porch, facing south, elevated about the second-floor level (the entire house was elevated with parking underneath), watching the ocean waves come in to the tiny neighborhood beach, named Baby Beach. We got up about 5:45 AM, which seems preposterous being on vacation and all, but the jet lag still had us in its clutches and the house was all windows and the rising sun was very bright.
The rhythm of the waves crashing into the beach was hypnotic - a cliché’, but true - every wave sounded different from those before and after, yet they all sounded just alike. The earth’s meditative breathing. Add the breeze blowing through palm trees and the result was captivating and peaceful. It’s easy to see how someone could get trapped all day listening to this siren song.
There on the porch I read in my Daily Bible about the fall of Israel to Assyria, and how the disaster and preceding three-year siege wasn’t really about Assyria at all. It was about Israel’s willful disobedience that lasted generation after generation. God simply used the Assyrians because they happened to be conveniently located and timely powerful.
To be honest, I was actually hoping for something a little lighter on this fine Hawaiian morning. With coffee in hand, ocean waves in view, surrounded by the smells and sounds of Poipu, Kauai, it seemed to be the wrong story. Why couldn’t my daily reading have been from Psalms, about how wonderful God is and how his loving hand is so obvious in nature on mornings like this? Or even Isaiah 51:15 (“For I am the Lord your God, who churns up the sea so that its waves roar”). Why not that? Wouldn’t that have been more appropriate, more beneficial?
But in my peaceful bliss of the morning I saw how easy it could be to be lulled into complacency by the view and the experience, never moving all day, like being trapped in an endless Jimmy Buffett song, life drifting away. It was easy to imagine how the people of Israel could be so caught up in the rhythm their military successes, financial victories, put to sleep by their own soothing sounds, and convincing themselves they were just fine, thank you. All this success was to their own credit and they didn’t need God after all, until it was all over.
I once heard a motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, say, “Casual living breeds casualties.” He didn’t mean we could never be casual, never wear shorts and flip-flops. And he didn’t mean we should never be captured by the Pacific Ocean waves. He meant that if we don’t take the path of our life seriously there will come a time when the Assyrian army is at our gate and we will have lost our last chance.
Well, back on the porch, Cyndi woke me up from my (as she once called it) meditating and stuff. We walked down to the Spouting Horn with Patti and Katie. I’d had enough casual relaxing; time for serious shopping.
“I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free.” Psalm 119:32
Journal entry 071912: Ocean Waves
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