Tag Archives: refreshment

Beach Cure


For me, there’s no cure like the beach. Such a variety of things combine here to relax and refresh me. The wind, the water, the sand, the sun, my slow pace, all combine to restore my joy and refocus my attention. Even if I sit in the condo and simply listen to the sounds while I write or reflect, I enter a new frame of mind and heart.

This morning it was overcast and cool as the tail end of last night’s storm cleared out. But there’s nothing sad about the lack of sun. It’s simply another mood.

Only at the beach do I totally let down. In the morning, I’m sitting with a coffee. Watching all the movement around me. Hearing a constant, distant roar of high tide under a nine knot Northeast wind, settles me into the rhythm of nature. Every few seconds, gusts hit the balcony door. Since it’s not tightened down, the wind moans past it into the sitting room briefly rustling the fig tree’s long, slender leaves. The blinds sway and clack–some wind-inspired conversation I’m not privy to.

I smell coffee, sea spray, and wild roses. These are the smells of my experience here at the shore. I remember the smells at the shore when I used to go as a teenager to West Dennis, Cape Cod, every summer. There I smelled salt water, sun-tan lotion, beach plum, scrub pine, and clam flats. Sometimes I was treated to the smell of an old fashioned New England clambake.

Along the beach, spume and spray lift with every crash of the white topped waves as they spend their energy down the shoreline. Colorful jackets and sweatshirts here and there make their way along the paths over dunes to disappear beyond. Then minutes later they reappear far out along the waterline. I sit and watch. I listen to the quiet in my spirit, undisturbed–at rest and grateful.

Later afternoon, the sun returns and I sit out with a tall, cold, Iced tea or juice–ice cubes clinking and sweat dripping down the glass onto my coaster. Listening to my favorite playlists of Brazilian bossa nova and smooth jazz or of the beach songs I recall from my past. No agenda. No conditions. No schedule. Just plain laziness and rest. I’m not a tourist here. I’m planted. The perfect atmosphere to inspire a creative spurt and perhaps a stray post.

I believe I’ve found my cure.

QUESTION: What does the beach do for you? Is it a cure for you?

©2012, David C Alves

Solitude, Silence, and Simplicity


One of the most important things that happened to me on my sabbatical this spring was that I learned more about myself in relation to my spiritual formation in Christ. I have often stressed solitude, silence, and simplicity for myself and others. But somehow the Lord impressed upon me the need to go higher up and deeper in. I need to press in to that quiet place with him. So I have made solitude and silence a major priority in my life. They counter my tendency to talk too much or be too “busy” with people–too external. They make me stop to wait upon the Lord. They quiet my eagerness to serve by making wait to see what my Father wants me to do, not what I think I need to do.
In my renewed emphasis upon these important spiritual disciplines, I reread a past blog I wrote, The Simplicity of Solitude. I enjoyed going back to it. I thought as I read that perhaps this could be helpful to my friends and family as well. I recommend it to you. But find a quiet time and place to put it into practice.

Come to Me


 

Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

–Matthew. 11:28

Real rest–soul rest–is found in one place. Jesus is the true source of so much and now we find that he is the end of our striving and busyness too. He is our REST and QUIET–our peace.

He invites “ALL” of us to “come.” The only prerequisite is that we be weary and heavy laden–weighed down in heart, weary from our labor, worry, concern; tired from trying to be strong, from carrying burdens (not intended for us to carry); and, from an overload of responsibilities that wear us out. Some may be tired of just living–striving for acceptance, defending from rejection, protecting our reputations, guarding our livelihood or looking for one.

But . . . we need to be willing to lay our “stuff” down and pick up his “easy” yoke and “light” burden. His yoke yokes us with him–along side him. We connect and couple ourselves, by an act of the will, to go where he goes, to move or stop when he moves or stops. Actually, our second act of the will. Our first act is to “come.” We must, like Mary, choose the better part–to place ourselves in the presence of Jesus–at his feet, listening to what he will say. So I go in the morning to him. I wait on him. I don’t fix myself up first to make myself presentable. I simply sit, quietly, choosing to give him my weariness of soul and lay my burdens down.

He is always there, so that I might be yoked to him and learn from his humble, gentle style. That’s how we know it’s him–by the character of his teaching style. We run from any other voice (Jn. 10:4-5). He is never harsh with us. When we come he speaks gently and welcomes us. He promises not to reject or chide us for coming. To go to Jesus is to begin the first day all over again–everything fresh and new. He is the One who told us that forgiveness was to be lavish and always ready to welcome the one who needed it.

PRAYER: Lord, I hear you calling (Isa. 55.3). I come, just as I am. Help me to receive your REST. I desire to make the exchange you invite. I give you my stuff and take yours in exchange. Thank you for your gracious invitation to those of us who have gotten weary and weighed down. How is it that you are so marvelous to me?

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