Recently I had the privilege of going to the beach. I needed some time away from work and responsibility; from phone calls and the demands of normal life.
During the winter, the beach is very quiet. A few "snow-birds" rent condos there in order to escape the brutal cold, ice, and snow of the north. There are a few folks visiting from surrounding states who are there for very short vacations. But for the most part, it is slower, calmer, and more restful than during the summer time. It is beautiful, peaceful, and intimate. The beach feels like a "holy" place especially during the winter.
Beach time allows times to reflect, to rest, and to restore our souls. If you have the luxury of being there with a spouse or a friend, it is a perfect place to connect on deeper levels. Talking late into the night, walking on the beach looking for special shells and avoiding bright blue jelly-fish are opportune times to connect, converse, and engage. Watching movies that bring tears to your eyes and then discussing the meaning you gleened are fun and intimate. Sharing deep thoughts produces a sense of being known and loved; a sense of connection and trust.
I think God created special places like the beach to give us unique opportunities to see His nature expressed in creation. The beach is a place where the natural tempo of life is retarded and slowed; it is so different from real-life time. The sunsets are breath-taking; the sun-rises are too. The entire package produces a deep sense of awe.
I so loved my time away. And yet, let me ask you what does God use in your life to slow you down and help you rest? Where do you go to be quiet and thoughtful. Where do you slip away to regain your balance and your peace?
I hope you have such a place. It is the key to being and staying healthy -- mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. If you were to look at your life right now, would you see the need to find a place to get away? If you do, please do something about it. Please care for yourself.