As I sat on the rock at the edge of the rugged southern coastline of Norway, I could have been in Maine, northern California, or parts of Oregon. The overwhelming beauty, cold water, noise of the sea gulls, and trees gripping the edge of the rocks is common to every scene. Today the beauty of Norway seems just a little different. I know it isn’t the small boats tied up in the tiny inlets – I would find something similar in Maine. I do not think it is the football field hugging the coastline. There is something different, but I cannot quickly identify the specific.
For me the sea has a calming affect. Given accidents in the sea when I was young I deeply respect and fear the unknown and power the sea represents. At the same time I search for hidden colors, new juxtapositions, and different insights that the sea might give up. Today is no different in this respect. The water is crisp, dark, and clear. Mussel pieces are scattered around, victims of the gull’s unending search for food. A tough, bright orange moss is plastered in splotches all around me – God’s response to an otherwise drab niche in his creation.
I pause and rest in a small nook in the rock, hiding a bit from the continuous brisk wind and wonder. The recurring question will not go away; is every step in life similar to someone, somewhere else? Am I merely repeating steps another has taken, or do I face a future where my journey is unknown, uncertain, and a single brave trail into the wildness of uncertainty.
Everything in the scene around me tells me that I am not alone; there are patterns, and models. I can search and there will be answers. I recognize and know the source – it is God. “The Son [Jesus] stands first in the line humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him.” (Romans 8.30)
I rest with God and come away refreshed. Sitting and being with God is life.