The Ocean’s Invitation

The place of love. It’s the secret place where you just are, and it’s enough. It’s the place inside where you know and you are known, and if you learn to abide there, you can’t be thrown by anxieties that toss themselves up in front of you like the waves of an ocean.

I really love the metaphors of life. I love how God has weaved his story and his character into creation. It’s gloriously beautiful. It incites that deep sense of adventure placed in each of us. The mystery of it invites us into a grand quest. I believe God specifically designed it this way, because he understands how our hearts swell when we discover something great—a secret hidden in plain sight.

One of my favorite live metaphors is the ocean. Although it is a feeble comparison at best, I love how the ocean can be a representation of who God is—at least a small facet of his character. The ocean has a life of its own, and yet it draws us to experience its depths and its beauty. It is dangerous, colorful, and hides all sorts of fascinating mysteries. At times its surface is still, reflecting the light of the sun and reminding us how big the universe is. Other times the waters rage and lap hungrily at the shore. But however it appears, it is always there, teeming with life and dancing to its own hauntingly beautiful tune. It cannot be controlled or contained. Its depths seem bottomless and its perimeter endless. It is bordered by nations and cultures, entirely different from each other and yet sharing separate ends of one entity. For the ocean is one, its atoms continuously flowing into one another, the whoosh of its waves speaking, connecting. It is always speaking, always intent on some purpose that is often beyond our comprehension. We play on its shores, building castles and ravines that will soon be washed and filled. And yet we keep coming, the beauty and the greatness drawing us in; the prospect of play and enjoyment, a moment to steal away, tantalizing our spirits.oceanblogpic

God is much like this endless ocean, only grander, fiercer, livelier. And what a ravishing thought that is. God is also love, as we know from the Scriptures. So think of love as this vast ocean, where God and love are one and the same, and we can swim in these waters. They can’t be controlled, and that is scary sometimes, but they are ultimately satisfying. You see, we are made to be loved. In fact, any time that we find ourselves not responding out of love to someone or something in our lives, we are not living in the knowledge of the deep love that already fills and surrounds us, like an ocean. This ocean is all consuming. It does not require boats, structures, devices. It provokes us to explore, to dive deeper always, to get lost. We lose our cares and our worries in this place. Waves of fear and anxiety are a joke, because how can one wave threaten another, bigger one?

Sometimes, when faced with our losses, our challenging circumstances, our doubts, we live far from the shore, on the “safety” of a land not touched by this ocean. But we were born in these waters, and they call to us. We cannot even properly grieve if we don’t allow our hearts to be submerged in this place of origin. Land can only offer us so much for so long until it gives way. The ocean might not be safe, but it is good. It is the place where we are known, where love becomes our identity and hence we become one with our very Creator. We are his children. His waters are never blocked off. The beach is never closed, not even in Winter. So play, sit, dream, and get swept away into the depths of the secret place. And then find that you are beginning to live from a different center, and that it is changing everything.

You are beloved. You can hear your Father’s heartbeat in the pulse of the waves, if only you let them overtake you. All will not make sense in your mind, perhaps, but it will in your heart, if you let go, and dive deeper. The invitation is always there, friends. Let’s make the journey together, shall we?

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