SoCal Beaches In Spring

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I love the beach. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall—it doesn’t matter if it’s windy or rainy or 100 degrees—if I have the chance I’ll go. There is just something fresh and refreshing about the beach—especially in the spring. One of the reasons I love the beach in the Spring so much is because I can have the place almost completely to myself to walk and talk with God and allow nature to nurture me.

This past March I was in southern California taking classes at Loma Linda and the professors gave us the day off on Sunday. There was so little traffic that morning that I made it from Riverside, where I was staying, to Laguna Beach in only 30 minutes. It was windy and cloudy and there was a chill in the air but that just meant that even more people would be staying away and I would be getting some much needed peace and quiet. So, I zipped up my jacket, grabbed my camera and headed out…

At first I just silently walked along the shore listening to the waves crashing and seagulls crying out to one another as the wind whistled by. Shadows danced around me as the clouds hurried by and slowly thinned out. It’s fun to see how close you can get to the incoming waves without getting wet—every so often racing to get away… They’re all mindless games, just to relax the intellect and let my responsibilities fade away. I don’t really know of anywhere else that I can relax like this. TV, computer games and other worldly distractions definitely don’t free my mind like the sea...

After some time walking around surveying the area I started to intuitively narrow down the places where I wanted to focus my camera. The artist in me loves beauty and framing the scenes helps me to become a part of them—that’s how I claim them—making them mine. It’s also how I take home lasting reminders and something to share from my journey.

As I was standing on top of a bluff I was surprised to see this pelican pop up in front me, only 20 feet away, as it rode on the air current up the face of the cliff. He kept going round and round so I kept shooting until I captured him just the way I wanted..

As I focused on the nature around me my mind turned to thoughts of creation from the Bible and the Leviathan came to mind. Psalm 104:24-26 says:




O Lord, how manifold are Your works!

In wisdom You have made them all.

The earth is full of Your possessions—

This great and wide sea,

In which are innumerable teeming things,

Living things both small and great.

There the ships sail about;

There is Leviathan

Which you made have made to play there.

I always wonder what it would be like to watch the Leviathan play—the great serpent of the sea. I wonder if he breached like a whale or jumped like a dolphin or kept to the dark and deep? God has so many wonderful experiences waiting for us in this life and the next—so many amazing creatures of all colors, shapes, sizes, textures and temperaments. I wish I could have been there at creation when they were all fresh and new—unspoiled by fear, pollution and disease. I wasn’t there then but I’ll tell you for certain that I plan to be there when Jesus makes them all again.

I can’t wait for my mortal body to put on immortality and for my corruptible parts to become incorruptible (1 Thess). I can’t wait to take that new body and fly through the heavens and outer space with Jesus to His kingdom beyond the Milky Way. And, I can’t wait to see the animals made new—friendly, healthy and waiting to be my friend… This earth has some beauty in it, some joy and some fun—but nothing like the world to come where the sun will never set, nothing will ever break, grow old or die. Pain will never be known, and Love will never fade away—because He will be right there with us for all eternity—and then some.

Thought Questions

1. What places make you think of God the most? How often do you go there?

2. What do you do to relax when you are stressed? Do you think God has a better way?

3. What do you look forward to the most about heaven?

About the Author

Scott R. Ward is a husband and father of two daughters and a son. Scott is also a Youth Pastor and the Public High School Ministries Coordinator for the NAD. Scott loves helping people learn to nurture their devotional lives and challenging them reach out to the world around them by Living their faith. Scott’s first book on the devotional life, Authentic: Committed for Life, is due out August 2012 from Review and Herald Publishing Association.

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