There is more than one trail to choose from; naturally I chose the one nearest the edge...just the right amount of pleasurably perilous for my taste!
After passing the wave of cliffs jutting into the blue, the bluff becomes gradually less steep. The water calls me. Far be it from me to pass up a favorable opportunity to get down to the strip of pebbled beach and meet the cold thrill! My slippery trip down the muddy bank is rewarded by a plethora of intriguing rocks worthy of a nature lover's collection. I am happily occupied with this treasure hunt for some time.
Presently I rest on a fallen log, my catch of stones secured in my pack, and I pull out my journal. Nothing is more inspiring for me than writing in the middle of creation's glory. As I muse over water and rock, clay and root, I write...I converse with my Creator in my favorite language.
Creator God--You have put so much in this world to delight us! Today my heart wonders at these things:
The fresh scent of rain, the cadence of it against roofs and windows--now pattering, now pouring.
The greens of the forest, the variety of trees, bark, and leaves, the air sweet with blossoms. The mysterious magnetism of a packed dirt path winding through jungle.
The incredible artistry in rock! Size and shape, variegated colors and patterns, and a million variations of each.
The way You planned out how the forces of nature--wind and water and earthquakes and volcanoes--would affect and shape the elements, like rock and trees, sand, and mud cliffs.
The crash of waves on a beach. The soothing ebb and flow. The thrill of cold water rushing up over feet and legs.
The trilling of birds, and the way the most unassuming little sparrow reminds me of Your kind and tireless care.
Yet nature in all her glory can but speak broken phrases in the volumes of descriptive language that could be written, if there were such a worthy language, to express the beauty and wisdom and power and mercy and infinity of Your God-ness!
Why, oh why, do I ever desire anything besides You, God?
Why this fear and unbelief that leads me to doubt Your infinite goodness, perfect love, and kind, tenderhearted engagement in my greatest good--and that You would make my good fit within Your greatest glory?
Why the endless, mindless, obstinate, and deliberate chasing of pleasure placebos that can never fulfill me? Why the desperate struggle to hold on to these useless attempts to imitate the pleasure and satisfaction found in Your presence alone?
Why can I not remain at rest in you, my Vine?
Why do I continuously cast up these paltry pleasures within my soul like the restless waves of the sea upon land? You Yourself set the boundary for the seas. You said, "This far you shall come, and no further." And so it is with my fleshly pleasures. They can only go so far--they are trapped by a boundary set by Your mercy--they can never take me to real pleasure, the kind that fulfills my soul. Instead they leave me thirsty and hollow, always needing more.
Yet no matter how long I toss and foam, You wait for me to come to You. You pursue me; I cannot hide from Your presence. You wait for me to come to my senses and abandon myself to the Fountain of Life, my source and my salvation and my eternal pleasure!
Will I embrace Your freedom?