I thought that I might be able to keep up with events in Port Aransas by watching the local news on television, but there was little mentioned (which says a lot about how well things were planned and organized for this year’s onslaught of visitors).
Upon returning, I could see in the eyes of many of you who worked the tired rings of your labor. In fact, the whole community seems to giving off a huge sigh of relief as we say farewell with thanksgiving to the Spring Breakers, to the many families who were here and the Winter Texans who are making their way north. For a little while now Port Aransas is our own to enjoy, and that is what we should do.
Just as winter is the season of restoration and renewal for much of creation, we, too, need our “season” for rest and renewal. Living as we do in a resort and fishing community, we don’t have the luxury of taking time out for ourselves like people in other places do during holidays and the customary periods of vacation. We have to grab-as-grab-can, as if vacationing were dispensed from the drive-through window of a fast food haunt. We are fortunate, however, to live in such beautiful surroundings, where it is inviting to take what I like to call “little rests,” - 15 minutes here, 30 minutes there, in order to regroup, get a perspective on life and to get life back into our souls.
One such method of taking brief respites is meditating, or taking the journey inward.
There are several approaches to meditation. One is to allow the gift of God’s creation to serve as a re-creative force in your life. Our beaches are terrific, not just for sunning, swimming or surfing, but as places for meditation as well.
Sitting on a dune and watching the waves ebb and flow is one such way of taking time-out for a little rest. As you watch a wave crash and sweep over the surface of the beach, reflect on how God renews the face of the earth. Just as the beach is restored by the ocean’s movements, so are our lives restored when God’s forgiveness and grace wash over us. As the wind blows mist off the crest of a wave, meditate on how God might be washing your life anew by the breath of the Holy Spirit. While watching the sun rise over the Gulf of Mexico, remember Jesus saying, “While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of the light,” John 12:36.
Through meditation, your mind has the opportunity to rest, unwind and to be stimulated by the incredible wonders of creation. At the same time, it provides a doorway for God’s presence to enter your life and to make all things new. It is far too easy to let life crowd in on us so much that we can feel pulled and squeezed in every direction.
Taking the time for little rests is not escapism. It is loving yourself in such a way that you are allowing the benefits of living in this beautiful area to bring inspiration and insight into your life, while at the same time, extending an invitation to God and to become open to the abundance of His love.