As I entered Ruby Beach in Washington State, I left another world behind. No longer was there warmth and sunshine. In its place fog tried in vain to hide the violence of the rough ocean surf. Signs were posted warning of the dangers. “Know your tide tables,” they said. “And do not get caught at high tide, nor ensnared by the frequent riptides.”
I was on high alert. As I gingerly ventured out past the huge relics of driftwood depicted in the first photograph, I glimpsed the ocean for the first time. But there was not much to see. Fog hid its expanse.
The dissonance between the visual claustrophobia and the aural power was intimidating. It made me wonder what lay beyond the watery veil a mere fifty feet away.
It also caused me to think about the frustrating nature of life, when its way forward seems hidden.
Rarely is life simple. Relationships, responsibilities, obligations, finances, dreams, broken hearts, loss, shame, hope and forgiveness are just a sampling of the artifacts and experiences that etch their mark on our hearts. Sometimes they shine upon us, providing profound clarity. More often, they simply muddy things up, both above and below the surface of our interior lives. Kind of like fog on a dangerous ocean beach.
The past year has brought many changes in my life. In keeping with life’s gnarled nature, they have been hurtful and helpful. But I do not regret the journey. Some folks preach about the importance of vision clarity. I am learning that sometimes it is okay simply to abide in ambiguity, so long as I am clear concerning in whom I place my hope. My ministry career decisions in the past year have killed my future prospects for which I have worked long and hard. I am okay with that. As a young man I promised Jesus I would take up my cross, no matter the cost. I don’t know the way forward, but in the years I have remaining, I am committed to living a cross-centered life among the redeemed and the lost, so that Jesus Christ may be lifted up among the nations. Maybe it took killing my dreams in order for God to pursue his through me in his timing.