I was sitting on the balcony, overlooking the Atlantic. At a year-end retreat that had us focusing on what had been and what would be.
Glad to be there. Ready for more fun.
I wasn’t contemplating what had been. I wasn’t looking forward to what would or could be happening down the road. I wasn’t even appreciating the beauty of the sunrise.
I was starting to get riled over a to-do list that looked endless. With more things waiting to jump on deck once I gave them that option.
Too many to-dos.
And then I looked up. Really looked.
Dolphins were swimming in the ocean right in front of me.
I live in Florida. I’ve been to Sea World. I’ve seen their dolphins on display. Watched them perform.
I’ve never had the privilege of seeing these fun-loving creatures in their natural habitat. No one interfering or making them jump through hoops. No fish rewards hanging above the water’s surface.
With the sun slowly lighting the water, none of them seemed to be in a hurry. There was no jumping. No backward shimmying. No somersaults.
Just gentle cresting of the waves, slow swimming. Some in pairs. Some alone. No panic or frenzy.
They acted as if they hadn’t a care in the world. Just kept on swimming. Moving down the shoreline. Slow and easy.
I’m not going to lie. I was more than a little jealous.
Not because I yearn for rubbery skin and great lung capacity to swim long distances underwater.
What I yearn for is the capacity to embrace my life with gentle motion. No frenzy. An ability to truly go with the flow.
Life can feel more like a shark attack rather than playing with dolphins. The teeth of others expectations ready to rip a hole in my good intentions. The gnawing away of my identity by how the world perceives me rather than who I really am.
It feels like I’m floundering.
None of this is a surprise to God. He knows life like He knows me. All of life.
All of me.
Jesus’ offer of peace, though, supersedes the reality of the world.
“I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid…I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 14:27; 16:33
I may not live in a sublime salt water world, but I can experience the gentle rhythm of life even with the trials and sorrows that will happen. To all of us.
That’s where my hope is to stay afloat.
In the One who keeps me above water.
Second photo courtesy of tripadvisor.com.