Doing The Wave

Beaches have a strange draw.  There is something beautiful about the open expanse.  The sounds and the smells are intoxicating, and the feel of the sand between your toes is therapeutic.

Early one morning on our recent trip to the Maritimes, I went for a walk along the beach.  After a while I stopped walking and just soaked in the atmosphere.  I found myself transfixed by the soothing waves that steadily ‘swooshed’ onto the shoreline.  One after another the waves would glide up the incline of the shore, only to melt away into the sand and disappear.  You could easily see the various high-tide lines on the beach where creases in the sand were highlighted with thin lines of seaweed.  And of course the waves had brought with them the little treasures that make the ocean shore so intriguing for beach-combers.  Small abandoned sea-shells.  Various shapes and sizes of beautifully smoothed driftwood.  Well-polished pebbles of every imaginable color.  The beach was covered with evidence of the countless waves that had crashed upon it, but the waves themselves were essentially forgotten.

As I stood there admiring the beauty of it all, it occurred to me that my life was kind of like one of those waves.

My life on this earth will not last very long.  Chances are very good that no one on the planet will recognize my name 150 years from now.  Sometimes that bugs me.  I want to be remembered.  On some levels I want to be famous… and I can argue that it is for really good reasons!  I want to be known as a man of adventure.  I want to be known as a man after God’s heart.  I want to be known as a source of life to those who so desperately need it.  Of course I would like to go down in history as a world-changer, but I have very little control over what mankind will choose to remember in future generations.

The problem isn’t that I want to BE all of those things:  a man of God; a source of life; a man of adventure.  The problem arises when my focus is on being KNOWN for those things.  I was made for impact.  But I was not made for personal fame.  In the course of my life I may be well known or I may be invisible.  It doesn’t ultimately matter.  What matters is what I have brought to the shore.

As he spoke to the crowds of people on a mountainside, Jesus said, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”  Then, a few minutes later he said, “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them.  If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”  Wait a minute.  I’m confused.  Which is it?  Am I supposed to let my good deeds be seen or not?  Am I supposed to be noticed or hidden?  Actually, I think when you look at it, Jesus was being pretty clear.

My ‘good deeds’ are what people need.  My ‘acts of righteousness’ should bless other people and add value to their lives.  My ‘light’ MUST shine before others so that they will see the beauty and the faithfulness of God.  But I need to fire my press agent.  My focus must be on His glory, not my kudos.

Each wave is only upon the shore for a moment.  Almost as soon as you can appreciate its beauty, it is gone.  All that remains are some wet sand and the bits of treasure that it has left behind.  I want to SPEND my life on the shore of God’s purposes.  I want to keep the sand of my world wet with the beauty of the Father long enough for the waves behind me to come along and do it again.  And I hope to leave as much treasure as I can for others to discover.

Forget me if you will, but check out that beach!



Posted On
Aug 21, 2011
Posted By

Well said, Son. That’s really where it’s at. We’d accomplish a lot more and encounter a whole lot less stress if it didn’t matter who got the credit. Let Him get it, as the scripture you quoted says.

Posted On
Aug 21, 2011
Posted By
Ardy Mackay

I really like this. I find that so many people deal with the issue of pride for we are our first press agents. I too realize that two generations from now we may not even be more than a memory but to pass on the torch in the Name of our GOD is the most important deed of all. I try to give the glory to GOD openly and quickly so as to combat my pride and I thank you for such and elequant reminder.

Bless you

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