I strolled along the beach just after the sun came up, staying to the “combed” part of the sand. I didn’t want the inconvenience of getting my feet crusted with wet sand and then having to rinse them off before I wandered inside the hotel.
As sand crumbled beneath my toes, I was stuck by the way the waves smoothed part of the sand as they washed upon the shore. How they recorded their mark of how far they rolled up and then crept back to where they began.
The contrast intrigued me.
So few footprints marred the smooth surface, while many prints left their mark on the combed, section beyond the waterline.
I thought about how often I walk in the “safe zone” of life. I don’t choose to venture near the waves. Sometimes, I don’t want the inconvenience of the unexpected.
Other times, it feels too risky to set my feet on the damp, smooth surface that edges the waterline. A large wave could sweep up and disrupt my perfectly laid out plans. Or worse, one rogue wave could derail my plans entirely.
I’ve lived too much of my life moving in the safe zone, where most live their daily lives. I’ve traversed the expected pathways, where many people seem to travel.
Maybe it’s time to brave the unexpected. To choose to walk alone sometimes.
Near the waves in the smooth sand.
Perhaps it’s time to live anticipating what God might want to do, how He may want to reveal Himself to me.
The thing is, in order to walk in the smooth sand, I need to let go of the fear of a disruption or something “bad” happening. If I choose to walk in the smooth sand, its possible I’ll have seasons of my feet, knees, waist, neck being sloshed by the waves of life.
Walking outside the safe zone–walking nearer the water where waves lap onto the shore–means I need to trust God. Trust Him to lead where He wants me to step next.
It’s when I tiptoe close to the water’s edge, or dip my toes into the water, that I’m choosing to let Him control what happens to me. If I choose to trust Him with all of me—my physical life, my dreams, my fears—sometimes things will get messy.
But walking at the waterline of life is where I experience what it means to really live. Because it’s close to the water’s edge where I know God’s presence best.
When I trek on the boardwalk, I’m safe and more in control (or at least that’s what I think). I determine where I step next. I decide how much risk to take.
The thing is? When I stick close to the water’s edge, I may be vulnerable, but I’m also held in the hands of the One who loves me most.
As I enter into this new year, I want to dip my toes in the water of trust. To let God lead me where He wants me to go.
It’s a little scary to write that. It’s only as I walk closely with Jesus, His hand guiding me, that I will truly learn to live with abandon.
What about you? What encourages you to live in a place of not knowing what’s coming next? When have you lived with abandon?