March 9, 2009

The Nature of the Beast

A few months ago my oldest son described my spiritual state of being in not-so-glowing terms. I know he didn't mean it the way it sounded, but being the female that I am, it was only natural that I twist his words into something he didn't quite mean and turn them into something that has bothered me ever since. (Which, by the way, proves his point....)

Here's what he said, "Mom, you are like the ocean. At the bottom of the ocean all is calm, quiet, and steady. Unchanging. Dependable. But, when storms hit, the surface is choppy. Confused. Chaotic. It's easily moved. That's how you're relationship with the Lord is. Underneath it all you trust Him and I know nothing will pull you away from Him. You're solid deep down. But when you go through hard things your emotions take over and pull you and push you all over the place."

Well, I've chewed on that description ever since. I'd now like to say something on my behalf. I've been thinking about the ocean, and have come up with these observations:

-You can't bodily move the ocean. Any ocean. They stay put, right where God planted them, no matter how much they storm and rage and fret on the surface.

-You can't drain the ocean.

-The ocean is teaming with life. Some of the creatures are harmful, or scary. Some are lovely. Only about 3% of the ocean has been explored. That means there are probably all kinds of lovely and not-so-lovely things yet to be discovered.

-People respect the ocean, just the way it is. The depths as well as the tumultuous surface.

-God made the ocean to be that way on purpose.

-Most people love the ocean and some spend their whole lives either living on it, or wishing they could be near it. ( Don't go there. I know there's not a waiting list of people outside my door longing to be near me. My point is, most people are at least not repulsed by the ocean.)

-If the surface of the ocean were made of glass, solid and unmovable, it would shatter when the storms hit.

-Jesus walked on the water of a stormy sea and a bit later calmed the raging waters.

That last observation is the sweetest of them all. It's only when I let Jesus walk through the circumstances of my life and submit and trust Him that I become still. I often forget to do that when winds start to blow through my life. And sometimes, I must admit, I enjoy a good storm. I'm a stubborn, mule headed person who wants her way. Even if it's not the easy or best way. I often, and foolishly, don't give up the fight until I'm exhausted.

So, having said all that, let me ask you a question. What animal, vegetable, or mineral are you? If you were an object in nature, rather than a person, what would you be?


  1. Wow! This was a really neat post, Mama Judy. Word pictures always make me happy, and always get me thinking in ways nothing else can. You (like Alec) are very good at them!

    Great observations. My favorite was the one about Jesus walking on and calming the seas. The others were fabulous, too, though...I liked your point on how, if the sea was made of glass, it could not toss and turn with the wind. It could only be those really cool buildings that can sway in the wind and the earthquakes.

    Benjamin is like a killer whale:
    intense, powerful, driven, both scary and amazing. They have the ability both to attack and to play. With speed and accuracy they push ahead to achieve their goal regardless of physical consequences.
    And, you know what? Killer whales live in the sea. They love the ocean. They need the ocean. If the ocean was a warm, silent, shallow baby pool, a killer whale would die. But because the ocean is deep and teeming with life, the killer whale can grow and live in safety.

    Tangent, I know. But I really think that it's interesting!

    I guessed you asked what animal, vegetable or mineral I was, not what animal, vegetable, or mineral the person who called you an ocean was.

    Still thinking...I'll let you know when I figure it out.
    Any suggestions on what I am?

    I'm glad you're an ocean. Constantly choppy seas make sailors seasick, yes....but as long as you aren't constantly choppy and emotionally heaving, many boats, whales, fish, etc. are very, very glad to spend time with the ocean.
    I'm one of those boats, whales, fish, etc. Thanks for being you!

    Keep grounded deep down and stay away from spinning whirlpools that only take you down.

    Wow, that was long. But, long means I'm getting into what I'm writing, which is good. It means I care. :)


  2. Insightful! Wahoo! Thanks for sharing! .... You, Ben, and I had a similar discussion on the Mammoth Cave trip ... he said I was an ocean too. Ha ha!

    Let's keep leaning on Jesus! :)

  3. I refuse to answer on the grounds it may incriminate me. But I'm likely a crab, or a turtle. I like to hide in my shell until I know the coast is clear. Only then will I venture out. Maybe not that extreme, but ya. A crab.


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