“I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
I’m not much of an ocean girl. The constant movement of the waves exhausts me. I prefer the serenity of a placid lake.
Yet, I was mesmerized by the waves crashing on the rocks at the Marie Joseph Spiritual Center while on retreat there last weekend. No matter how many times the ocean collided with those clusters of stone, they never moved.
Something I never thought about before was despite the constant battering, the rocks not only didn’t move, they didn’t change. But the water sure did. It transformed into white froth that sprayed outward, like an arch or benediction, glistening like jewels in the rays of the sun.
Meditating on that helped me realize that as beautiful as the spraying water was, we’re supposed to be the rocks.
We’re supposed to yearn for a faith that’s so rock-solid, we remain strong when life batters us incessantly.
I’ve known people who’ve achieved this. I’ve been just as mesmerized with them as I was with the waves and the rocks. I thought that if I could study these people, maybe I’d learn from them and be able to emulate them.
What I found is they see things radically differently from the rest of us. As one person put it, she stopped thinking “Why me?” every time things went wrong, and switched to “Why not me?”
I think we’ve all been fooled by the messaging of this world to think it’s all supposed to be easy; the world is our oyster; and we deserve the very best in life. The more we ingest this misconception the more we think life is supposed to be without its challenges. We also believe that when problems do come, we have a right to lament them.
The real truth is, we were never promised a rose garden. This isn’t Heaven. On this planet, we are the rocks and life is the ocean.
If we don’t stand strong in our faith when trouble hits, we’ll get pulled into the under tow, getting tossed about on the ocean floor, gasping for air while being submerged. Conversely, if we do stay strong, rooted in God’s promises, challenges will transform into grace when they hit us, spraying light and peace outward, like an arch of blessings that showers the world.
Questions for Reflection:
• When trouble hits, do I cry “Why me?” and get pulled into the under tow, getting tossed about?
• Is it possible to shift my perspective to “Why not me?” and stand firm in my faith when life’s storms brew?