Posted tagged ‘ocean’

The ‘Rest’ of the Story

June 29, 2016

By Dr. Steven J. Callis 

            It is mesmerizing, melodic in a way; almost hypnotic.  Continuously repetitious, invoking all five senses of the body, the ocean beach is a great way to relax.  If it has been a while since you were there, you may need to have your memory refreshed.

            The sight of the blue water capping to white as it rushes toward the shore partners with the crashing sound of the waves, one after another.  The feel of the ocean breeze is just enough to cool the body while the sun bears down on the sand, the sea, and the sun-screen-lathered beachcombers.  The subtle aroma of the salty air freshens the nasal passages and slightly informs the taste buds. 

            Being embraced by such an experience while lying on the sand, shaded beneath a large umbrella – well, no one is a match for the “sandman!”  Even the occasional flybys advertising Eagles Beach Store, and the faint screams of children running in and out of the ocean waves do not disturb the “music” of the beach.

            It is interesting to watch the various ways people choose to enjoy the beach.  For many of them, this is their one big week of the year away from time pressures and responsibilities back home.  Some are content to simply lie around and soak up the sun, while others romp and run and walk and play as though they are energized by that drumming pink bunny.

            Obvious beyond all of that is family.  The place we call “our” beach tends to attract families with young children, and often the grandparents are included in the fun.  To me, a real vacation is somewhat like a Sabbath.  It is not intended to be the norm of life, excessively taking us away from our commitments and responsibilities.   However, it is a prized opportunity that allows the body and mind to refresh, to rekindle, and then to re-enter life back home with a renewed sense of passion and purpose.

            It lifts my spirit to see families enjoying their time together, getting along and making the most of their week.  It seems that every year there is at least one large group of related families who have coordinated their schedules to be together.  Their planning and hard work to make it happen is well worth it as they enjoy their beach reunion.

            So here I am, back in the saddle, as some might say it.  Nothing has changed.  It is the same office, with the same schedule, the same challenges, and the same responsibilities.  Yet, there is a slight bounce in my step.  It felt good to get away, and it feels good to be home.  For you see, we are created with purpose; we are caretakers of our world and its inhabitants.  Our Sabbath rest serves to restore our being in order that we might effectively and efficiently serve our purpose.

            Whether we are talking about a one day rest to begin the week or a one week rest sometime in the year, our mind and body need that break.  When King Solomon declared that there is a time and purpose for everything under heaven, he understood that there is a time to rest, and a time to work.  The better we understand and embrace each, the greater will be our contentment as we fulfill our purpose.

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A First Time for EVERYTHING?

July 1, 2014

Steven J. Callis

It was her first time. Emotions ranged from squeals of delight to shrieks of fear. The supervisors were filled with anticipation and excitement. I expect that several years from now her memory of it will be vague and intermingled with similar events. It was, however, fun to experience it with her.

Yes, it was our granddaughter’s first time to visit the beach. Not yet two years of age, the initial sight of the vast ocean and a seemingly endless sandbox did not leave her awestruck, but she realized this was something new. At that age, much of what she encounters is “new” to her, and a person cannot live in a constant state of amazement!

She enjoyed the feel of the sand, putting small scoops of it in the bucket. At low tide she found her own little pond on the beach where she could splash and play. Her mom took her for early morning strolls on the beach. Shells from the ocean were momentarily fascinating.

Then there were the waves. The sight and sound of the rushing water can seem ferocious to a small young girl. Even in daddy’s arms the fear did not quickly subside, but she did manage to sit with mommy close enough to allow the water to ease its way onto the toes. Overall, it was a great “first time” at the beach; she did well.

Do you realize that everything you have ever done or experienced in this life began with your first time? First step, first word, first solid food, first kiss, first clap of thunder, first paycheck, first car ride, first haircut – – even your first breath. Things that you do every day, almost instinctively, you once did for the very first time.

Can you imagine your life without a particular thing you truly enjoy because you were afraid to try it the first time? Almost every day our granddaughter experiences something new. Often it is accompanied by a level of skepticism or fear, but babies are risk takers. The level of trust eventually outweighs the hesitation, and the new thing all too soon becomes routine.

There is a two-fold lesson hidden there: step up to embrace new opportunities, and remember to enjoy those things that have become second nature to you. Wake up and smell the coffee; stop and smell the roses. However you choose to say it, life is too precious and exciting to let it pass as boredom or to take its blessings for granted.