Hellos again all around! Was at the Sunday School Teachers' Retreat at Bayu Beach Resort this past Saturday, Sunday, and Labour Day. And a very, very welcome getaway it was, because I think I would've gone bonkers if it had been another regular Monday blues routine.
Now, what would a retreat be if I didn't come away from it renewed and refreshed, with a soul-stirring piece to spare? This piece came to me when we were asked to take a quiet stroll along the beach with God. I wasn't overly keen on it at first, since the stroll was supposed to last almost an hour, and well, it seemed intimidating to have to "reflect" and "meditate" and "pray" for so long! More so when my brain seemed to have shut down since Day One of the retreat.
But amazingly, that proved to be the best part of it all. When one doesn't think too much or try too hard, God gets His time to speak. So what if I was just admiring the scenery or having a regular walk on the beach? God was very much beside me, and all I had to do was soak in His presence.
Well then...just as I was content not to learn anything from this - the way you don't set out to gain knowledge from a movie outing with friends - whoosh! Today's Writer's Block came out of nowhere. Was it God speaking to me? Or maybe just my creative juices working overtime?
Nyahhh...it doesn't matter. Seriously.
"Come to me, child," He called. "Let your worries wash upon my shore."
Nah, it's okay. I'm starting to get the hang of it.
As to mock me, an inappropriately big wave drenched my cheeks. The salty water ran down my face the way egg would on a fool.
Here I was, sitting in the sea face back, playing a little game. I would entrench myself firmly into the sand and wait for the waves to come. The moment they did, and splash! I would try my best not to let the waves move me. It seemed a piece of cake at first, but quickly the waves resolved to beat me.
All the while, He watched from the shore with a smile, one that veered between amused and intrigued and sad. "Take my hand, child. Cast all your cares on me."
No worries! I'm even beginning to enjoy it.
True enough, the rocking feeling each time the waves pushed and rushed back was becoming quite a thrill. I pursed my lips and braced for the next wave. It was a big one!
Whoosh! I must've moved at least a foot.
Hey, hey, this is fun. Tiring, but fun.
Splosh! I made sure I didn't get swept away so far this time. Actually I cheated a little by moving towards the waves.
He sighed and watched on from the shore.
Finally, all worn out from the rocking back and forth, I got up and stretched my half-cramped legs to the shore.
"Nice to have you here," He beamed.
My face flushed slightly. "My pleasure, really. Sorry to keep you waiting for so long."
"It's okay. What matters is that you're here."
We sat feet first to the ocean, basking in the cheerful sun. The frolicking waves reached for my feet, always just touching, sweeping the sand beneath my feet back with them. The little waves then crept back in line, making way for a big wave that was all out and ready to hit the shore. And when that big wave was done - and turning into a little one in the process - another one stepped to the front of the cascading blue queue, eager to see how it would fare.
On and on this mesmerising scene went, never once allowing my eyes to wander off. Where do the waves start queuing up? I wondered as I gazed into the borderless bright sea. Further than any sailboat my eyes could clamber and sail on, for sure.
"It doesn't matter, my child." His grey eyes twinkled. "They all are a big beautiful picture, you see."
A big beautiful picture.
When I was sitting in the sea fighting the waves, that was all they appeared to be - incessant, bothersome waves. Just like the many problems we face in life.
"You don't always need me to get through difficulties," He said to me. "Many people overcome the troubles in their lives by themselves, or help from others. You don't always need me."
"But then you would be missing out on this." He showed me the sea and the melody of its waves lapping ashore. "The big beautiful picture."
"You still would get wet at times - whoops!" We jumped out of the way, albeit a little too late, as a bigger-than-usual wave came. "But now you see the beauty of each wave, the care I took to craft each one so that it would someday embrace you."
I gazed in awe at the orange sun dipping slowly into the unending ocean, hardly bothering a single note of the song of the waves. Never had I felt smaller, yet more significant.