“Look Son. See the beauty of this natural cove. God created it.”
Son is looking down under the water for seashells. “Dad, all I want are shells, and I can’t find any” The son’s frustration begins to grow. Father is looking out at the panorama of water and trees thinking, “What an amazing place.” Two minutes later: “Dad, this is terrible, there are no shells on this beach!” Dad responds, “Son, hold your Father’s hand, lift your eyes, take a deep breath and look around. What do you see? Son quickly retorts, “No seashells.”
Moments later the Father’s three-year-old arrives, grabs his Dad’s hand, looks out upon the the vast ocean with its seemingly limitless horizon and exclaims, “Dad, is this God’s pool?”
Immediately, Dad feels a pang of chagrin. How often eternally insignificant concerns beckon attention downward, away from divine realities? How often do we awake to discover that we are investing ourselves in triviality which in the final analysis amount to little more than seashell collections, when in fact God has invited us to take his hand and enjoy things that are far greater?
After our little seashore parable, the boys did manage to have a great time. When we finally arrived home, Uncle Charles presented a delicious Hawaiian chicken and seafood stir-fry dish which he had made for us. Reflecting upon the day with Angela later in the evening, we realized that this was the first time our boys have ever visited the ocean, and it happened to be the Pacific. So much for being a Long Islander.