Sara Kil lives in Orange County, CA. She is part of the Fashioned Magazine and West Angeles Church Blog. She has her blog, kilsara.blogspot.com. Check out her other writings on fashionedmagazine.blogspot.com. You can find her work in Scarlet Leaf Review, Blue Guitar & Blue Guitar Jr. magazine, and featured in Voyage LA magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Does going to the beach ever feel like going to church sometimes?
Do you get lost while going to the beach? Are the kids arguing in the back? There is traffic? Car sickness? Did someone steal your parking space? Then you have to carry all the beach stuff. And, the lunch and snacks you brought because you are not going to buy overpriced beach food, that isn’t even good. Then those beach rules.
Hear me out. You step out onto the beach, the first thing you see are all the rules.
Just in case you didn’t already know, there are 101 rules on what not to do. Fun Huh? Some are stupid, some idiot, just ruined it for all of us. I get it; there are rules to keep us safe. No one wants to deal with a lawsuit. Someone just took the fun away from us. There are no rules on how to have fun.
But do all those rules make you return to your car and go back home? Of course not. You drove to go to the beach. Why did you come to the beach in the first place? There is a reason why you’re here. You wanted to come.
First of all, before you can even touch the water, you have to find parking first. There is a parking fee or street parking. That is a bummer in itself.
Is it easy access to the beach from the parking lot, or do I have to walk down many stairs to get down to the beach?
The bathrooms are stinky, dirty, and scary. The beach smells like piss. The beach is gross. The sand is getting in my sandals. There is half-eaten food lying on the sand. There is seaweed everywhere. People steal things. The weather is not good. The water is cold. The water is dirty, depending on where you go? There are homeless people.
But does that make you stop going just because of people, places, and things? Most of the time you go to the beach, you have pleasant moments there are those few times that are not so good. But you still go to the same beach or some other one. You go beach hopping too.
So many excuses. So many complaints. Sounds familiar? Church? There are shark sightings. Shark! No one wants to hear that. People get hurt even in beautiful places; some may call paradise.
People are afraid of shark attacks at the beach. When you more likely to get hurt in an accident getting to the beach. People are paranoid about things that most likely won’t happen like a shark attack.
There are sharks in human form, thirsty for blood ready to devour the weak and the helpless at church. The shark lurks. Tread carefully! But when you get bitten, you bleed internally. And you get offended, and it stays with you, only God can heal it. There are dolphins in human form, nice ones. There are genuine people. Who loves the Lord and speaks the truth.
It’s about the memories. Sometimes you have good and bad memories of the beach and church. You get hurt. Remember, we don’t go to church for men you go to church for God. Of course, there is fellowship/communion with people. But the focus is on God.
You travel to different beaches, enduring the traffic. You try to go to the safest beaches with the cleanest waters. You’re looking for the right weather want to protect the family. You want to have memories with the little ones.
If you’re waiting for everything to be perfect, you will be waiting. Perfection doesn’t exist. Good/bad things happen at the beach and church. You can’t let people ruin it for you. Sometimes people ruin good moments. God can make it better. Take a risk. Dive in!
There is the lifeguard on duty keeping people safe. The comforter and guide, if you’re in danger help, is on the way. But you should be careful navigating the waters and use discernment.
I am an awestruck wonder at his creation. You marvel when you see the ocean waves crash into each other.
You look around God’s fingerprints are everywhere. God authored everything. We get to enjoy them. Someone bigger had to create this. You see the bigger picture. It’s all worth it. God is everywhere.
Let’s go to the beach and have some fun now. Life is good!