Launch out into the deep water!
For a number of weeks before we left for vacation, one of my concerns was how Keegan would react to the sand at the beach and the ocean. See Jen grew up at the beach, so she loves it. Me? I grew up in the land of red clay. I hate sand. And up to now, we’ve noticed tendencies in Keegan that would lead one to believe he would be as fond of the sand as I am. I wouldn’t care about that except Jen was so excited to bring K-Man to the beach. So yesterday, we took him down to the beach.
Of course, we bought the usual assortment of beach toys. Couple of pails. Couple of shovels. Couple of sifter things — like we were going to make sand biscuits or something. We walked down the boardwalk from the back deck. We reached the sand, and he seemed to like the feel of the cold sand on his toes. He stopped to wiggle them in the powdery coolness. We kept walking toward the water. We found a nice spot where the soft sand borders on the area kissed by the waves. Here, Keegan sat down in the sand. Keep in mind, this is the same kid who won’t sit down on the grass in the back yard or play in the dirt because he doesn’t like how it feels on his hands. This same kid sat down and proceeded to throw sand all over the place. Jen had to sit upwind from him to avoid getting a wedding recessional of sand in her face. The sand ended up all over him. In his hair. On his face. All over his pants. He was content.
But we’d come all this way. We wanted to show him the water and see if he liked it. So we coaxed him up, and Jen walked him over to the water’s edge. He squatted down to look at the waves as they ended just in front of him. He crept up a few steps. The wavelings touched his toes. He smiled and walked a few more steps up — the water was over his ankles. With each new wave, he got more and more excited. But he didn’t want to go out too far. He sat down on his knees and started collecting buckets of sand in his pants. But he loved the water hitting his belly.
I convinced him to get up and go with me a few yards farther out. I was holding him, and I was raising him up as each wave approached. After each crest, I would dip him down up to his neck. He loved it. Giggling. Laughing. When it was time to go in, we had to drag him back to the house.
When we were watching Keegan play in the water, Jen had a great insight. When he stepped off the boardwalk and touched the cool sand, Keegan was enjoying himself. When he sat down and started playing in the sand, he was content. When he took a few steps towards the water and dipped his toes in the water, he was exhilarated. When he walked out a little farther, the water washing up on his legs made him smile and screech in excitement. When I picked him up and carried him out past the breaking waves, he laughed as the water washed all over his body. And with each step he took, we enjoyed watching him stretch himself and find enjoyment in each new step.
It’s not unlike our relationship with God. Some of us would be content to stay in the house and listen to the waves crash along the shore. Some of us like walking along the shore. Some of us walk at the water’s edge. Some will go out until the water reaches our waists. Some of us might swim out to the sand bar in the distance.
The Lord offers us the ocean! He wants us to launch out into the deep water. He enjoys watching us stretch ourselves along the way, but He has more to give us if we’ll trust Him as Keegan trusted me to carry him out past where the water was deeper than he is tall. The water is deep, but He won’t let us drown any more than I would let Keegan drown. We can trust Him. Why don’t we? He longs to hear us giggle!