By ROY HARRIS
Ah… the ocean.
There is a special peace that comes with the sun slowly rising from the sea with its beams of light growing brighter and brighter as it breaks free from the horizon and begins its’ course across the eastern sky. It reminds us that, just as the sun rises anew every morning, each day brings new opportunities to begin again.
The ocean can be a wonderful teacher. The tide comes in and the tide goes out. High tide and low tide peak twice each day and never at the same time. Most tides are predictable. Local television news and weather reports often list the tidal schedules for coastal cities
and beaches. The tides can also be unpredictable, impacted by wind and storms. Hurricanes often turn gentle lapping waves into fast moving, huge destructive walls of water which can destroy property and unprotected lives.
Life is, in many ways, like the ocean. Every person is unique, special and important and is created by God with a purpose for his or her life. Our lives beginlike low tide ever moving forward, a day at a time, until finally reaching its’ zenith, our own individual high tides.
As we age, life begins to relinquish the strides forward which we’ve achieved, and we move ever closer to changing our residence from this world to the next, returning to God who created us.
There is a certain wealth and beauty on the incoming tide. Most avid salt water fishermen (of which I like to be included) will agree that the incoming tide brings with it the wealth of the sea, the beauty of the blue green water, the clean salt air and the calming beat of the breaking waves. The best surf fishing experience comes with the incoming tide – (wading into waist deep water and casting your bait or lure into the approaching waves). The tide brings with it bait fish and shrimp which attract larger game fish. This bodes well for a great day on the water and hopefully for the fisherman’s supper table also.
The beach, scarred from a day of flying Frisbees, errant footballs, bright colored beach umbrellas and low riding beach chairs, is cleansed with the white foam of the incoming tide. As the tide reaches its’ highest point, the serenity of the scene is so calming and peaceful. The slowly receding tide reveals a clean slate ready for the next round of sun worshipers, surf fishermen, sand-castle architects, shell collectors and adventure seeking children.
The journey of life is a series of ups and downs much like the tides, rising and falling as though on a prescribed timetable and set course. We all have our share of missteps, and sometimes even suffer great tragedies and disappointments. The death of a family member, failing health, the loss of a job, passed over for a promotion, turned down for a loan, the washing machine quits or the car won’t start are only a few of the things that can happen on a given day. But life is also filled with great joy and happiness. Falling in love, getting that big break, the birth of a child or grandchild, moving into one’s first home and like things tend to bring the good feelings that we all enjoy and are the kinds of things we would rather experience.
So how do we balance life’s ups and downs and the events which we have little control over? Having the right perspective can help keep life from overwhelming us. Just as surely as the tide goes out, it will come in again.
Every day is like the tide, and with each new day comes new opportunities to start fresh. The setting of yesterday’s sun helps wash away some of life’s missteps, mistakes and heartbreaks. Just as the sunrise brings a new day, we can rise each morning striving to live life one day at a time. This is a great way to balance those joys and setbacks.
The only day we really have is today. We cannot relive yesterday, and tomorrow will never come. When we wake up tomorrow, next week or next year, it will always be today.
Learning to live one day at a time helps us in so many ways. It frees us from the stress of worrying about tomorrow or trying to second-guess our decisions from yesterday. The scriptures tell us: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” So you see … you don’t even have to take my word for it. The good LORD himself tells us the best way to do life is one day at a time. Take heart, just as surely as the tide goes out it will come back in again. You may have some difficult times today, but rest assured there are better days ahead.
When you need a bit of encouragement, look to the beauty of the ocean and wonder of the sea. Leave the past behind you and try not to worry about the future. Do your best to live life today, ONE DAY AT A TIME.