“Who kept the sea inside its boundaries
as it burst from the womb,
and as I clothed it with clouds
and wrapped it in thick darkness?
For I locked it behind barred gates,
limiting its shores.
I said, ‘This far and no farther will you come.
Here your proud waves must stop!’
To read today’s portion of scripture, you can purchase The One Year Bible or find the following in your Bible:
2 Corinthians 4:13-5:10
I’ve heard it said that the reason one feels so rejuvenated when close to the ocean is because photosynthetic organisms absorb carbon dioxide, and then the pounding of the surf releases massive quantities of oxygen into the air. Maybe.
Or maybe it’s because when you stand at the edge of that churning mass, and you stare out at an entity powerful enough to take your life and beautiful enough to make you cry, you have a sudden, deep down, cell-level awareness that the God who thought that entity into existence stands watch, and tells it minute-by-minute, “This far, and no further.”
It’s the worship that rejuvenates me. Maybe worship is spiritual oxygen.
We’re in Cannon Beach, Oregon — a place so spilling over with lovely memories from all our many visits, that sometimes I feel a physical longing to be here. We’re on a free pastor’s getaway, courtesy of the Cannon Beach Christian Conference Center. I doubt they’ll ever know how much they’ve blessed us.
Our room is as close to the ocean as you can get. One window is entirely filled with the view of that endless, white-tipped blue body. The other window looks out at Ecola Creek, a fresh-water stream that runs into the ocean.
We have free wireless. I could live in this room forever.
We’ve just come in from a walk around town, which resulted in a tall, nonfat, 1 1/2 pump almond latte for me and a 20-ounce, four shot, two pump vanilla latte for Dave; breakfast at the Pig ‘n Pancake (the lingonberries on my Swedish pancakes looked like a mound of baby rubies … and they gave me not one, but two scoops of whipped butter); and then a 45-minute walk along the ocean to try to work off at least a portion of the bounty.
I’ve never seen so many intact razor clam shells. They were everywhere, scattered like a beckoning, irresistible, blue and honey-gold pathway that led straight toward Haystack Rock. We took the invitation.
And then, after we had squinted up at Haystack Rock and commented on its permanence (like we do every visit), we retraced our steps, came back to our room-with-a-view, and opened both windows wide, because we weren’t quite ready to shut out all that noise, and all that oxygen.