Our current reality is not quite what any of us expected, is it? Our days look entirely different, and our future is not as predictable as we once may have thought. I cannot imagine what is going on in our minds. When we think about our future, what things are coming to our minds? How do we slow it down? I would say by redirecting our thoughts. Is it tough? Sure. Can it help? Absolutely.
Whenever I think of the ocean, things that come to mind are ones that bring a smile to my face and warmth to my heart. Now, I know many of you feel the same way. You’re probably thinking, “Of course you do. It’s the ocean. Everyone feels that way.” Yes. That’s very true. However, the reason behind those feelings for me are particular. It reminds me of some friends of mine. Special friends. The kind that shapes who you are. It’s not just those friends. It’s their families as well. Honestly, I now call them my family.
You see, growing up, I lived through a couple of divorces. Those hurt me. Much more than I knew at the moment. Much more than I ever would admit. Because of this, I was constantly looking for a family that I could call my own. I loved mine, dearly. I just needed one that was a little more stable. That’s where the ocean comes into play.
Tyler, Luke, Tripp, and Joe. Those were my guys. Inseparable. Two places that we seemed to end up together, Saint Augustine and Keaton Beach. The Atlantic and the Gulf. Very different places, yet very similar feelings. Feeling of home and family.
Luke’s family would always go to Saint Augustine, and the invite for me was always on the table. These trips were the best. Food was a priority for the Gordons, and that was fine by me. We ate well and played even more. Most of all, the Gordons called me one of their own.
Tyler’s family had a place in Keaton Beach. The same as the Gordons, the Riddles prioritized food as well. However, there was one more thing, fishing. Whether it was with a spear gun, in the flats, or deep sea, we would fish. We caught them and ate them. We did this all together as a family. Once again, I was included in this family.
So back to the thought of the ocean. What are those things that come into my mind that bring that smile and warmness in my heart? Home and family. That’s powerful and will always have a special place in my heart.
There’s a powerful quote by author and pastor A.W. Tozer in his book “The Pursuit of God.” Tozer says, “What comes to our mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Have you ever sat and took time with this? What comes to your mind when you think about God?
I know the right answers, and I’m sure you do as well. Honestly, for most of us, the things that come to our minds are probably great. At least when life is good. If I may, I’d like to change Tozer’s quote slightly to this, “When things are difficult, what comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”
Life is difficult. Right now, it may be more complicated than you could have ever imagined. We may think differently about God when this happens. I want to let you know something when things are complicated, and when you are difficult, God does not change how He feels about you.
In Psalms 3:5-6, David says, “I lie down, sleep, and wake up because the Lord helps me. I won’t be afraid of thousands of people surrounding me on all sides.” In the middle of chaos, David’s mind did not change in regards to who God was in his life. I didn’t make the chaos less chaotic; it just gave David’s mind peace in knowing the truth about God.
In this time of chaos, your thoughts are possibly all over the map. One thing in your mind can stay constant; God is with you regardless of your circumstances.
We’re here for you. You have a community. You have a church. More than anything, you have God.
Love You All,