Monday, May 15, 2006

God at the Gulf


Four and one half years ago, I had a close encounter with God in the dunes on Panama City Beach. I awoke early one morning while on vacation, wrapped my 4-month-old daughter in a wool blanket, and set out for a pre-dawn walk on the beach. I retreated up into the dunes in a deserted state park with my peacefully sleeping bundle of joy. We sat quietly in the cool, white sand as the sun began to emit its first rays of light over the horizon. I was so overwhelmed in that moment by the miracle I held in my hands and by the beauty I beheld with my eyes that my heart filled with joy and praise. I knew that I was closer to God in that pre-dawn hour than at any moment before or since. I was so thankful for the gift of life.

Fast forward to Mother's Day Weekend 2006...

I'm up again pre-dawn. This time, I'm vacationing in Miramar Beach at Destin, one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Florida. The full moon hangs like an incandescent peach over the waters of the Gulf. The first light of morning has just crested the horizon. My feet are nearly buried in the cool, white sand, as I scan this breathtaking panorama. Clouds are silhouted in hues of purple against the orange glow in the east while the sinking moon shrouds itself with thin grey clouds in the west. I can barely make out the shadows of two porpoises as they arch their way along a sandbar about 150 yards from the shoreline. Right in front of me, two sandpipers are playing "catch me if you can" with the incoming tide. It was a dreamy moment, to say the least. I knew that I was again close to God.

I think I will live at the beach one day...and I'll kick the coffee habit for good. Waking up to picturesque mornings like these make the need for cafeine seem obsolete. These encounters with God also make any and all church experiences I've had pale in comparison. I think that I'd like to live close to God on the Gulf of Mexico one day.

8 comments:

Lauren said...

We can be neighbors! I plan to be the crazy cat lady who lives on the beach! :-D

nolesrock said...

keep your cats outta my @#($#*$% yard! i don't want them turning my private beach into a litter box!!!

mdwinn said...

gotta love it when creation speaks the langauge of life to those who are quiet enough to hear the whisper of God.

Darla said...

so glad you guys had a great time and your beautiful wife had a wonderful mother's day. i know how much you all enjoy the beach. maybe one day you'll be able to step outside your door right onto the beach.... what a dream! :)

Christine said...

That's beautiful.

nolesrock said...

christine--great to hear from you, what you been up to...e-mail me!

michael and darla--i feel like our time together is slipping away too quickly...need to do dinner and coffee together soon...how bout tonight?

Susie said...

Oh, Oh, Oh, it is so hard for me to hear about the Emerald Coast. We're from Ft Walton Bch, and the beaches are the only thing I REALLY miss about FL...Squeak some sand for me...

Anonymous said...

Hey,
I was blessed by your blog. Thanks for your honest heart and truthfulness, it is refreshing. Its cool to read about real people who serve Jesus.

I am a musician down here in Destin, FL, and I would be honored if you would check out my music. All music on my site is free for download. Anyway, don't want to be a pest, I just thought that I'd share.

Thanks,
-Sean
_____________________
www.SeanDietrich.com