Monday, April 26, 2010

Seashells by the Seashore

One of my favorite things to do while walking on the beach is collecting seashells. I have this habit of searching through the shells to find the pretty ones that aren't battered. I think they are beautiful and have remained so in spite of the waves and the turbulence they have overcome on their journey to the shore. It's a miracle they make it in one piece. Then there are shells that are broken, some more than others, that have pieces missing. This got me to thinking about how people and life are like seashells. Why is it that some people make it through in one peice and some not? We are all tossed about just as the waves toss the seashells, yet some make it through in one piece, while others do not. I'll bet if you look hard enough, even the whole seashells have scars. Don't we all have scars from our journey toward the shore? Some of the waves are bigger and rougher, some shells get knocked around more than others, and so it goes with life.

The other thing I have realized is that all of these beautiful seashells once had living creatures in them. Something had to die before we could enjoy the beauty of the shells for ourselves. In our lives, some things must die before God can make beautiful things happen for us. This has always been hard for me as I try to second-guess what God is going to do next and how He might use this, that, or the other in my life to make some change. Sometimes I think I'm not ready to let go of my old ways. I find comfort in my old habits and knowing what my plans are. But if only I will die to self and open my heart to God's will for my life, things will turn out so much better than anything I could ever imagine. It's a concerted effort each day to say, "Not my will but yours, Lord," but I have to think that the death of my own desires creates a beautiful life for God and that makes it all worthwhile.

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