I stood alone on a beach a few days ago – it was to be the last time for many months. I had walked miles of surf for the past six days. I had watched the ever-changing moods of the waves, first gentle, lapping like a mountain lake, then raging, pounding the beach with the fury of a small hurricane. Sunrise had come with the awakening calls of the sea gulls and then given way to sunset. The dolphins took their evening swim, performing antics and jumps like a close-knit family after all the company has gone home- playing together, showing off the new tricks in the safety of the circle of family.
What Is Happiness
I picked up thirty or more varieties of sea shells in quantities of fifty to bring home to my children’s choir. Having done that, I walked alone at sunset one last time. I felt immense sadness and aloneness. Gazing into the sunset as it fell gently – light as a feather drifting down into the water – my eyes were dazzled with the gold as it touched and painted the whitecaps of the waves that swelled and rolled majestically toward shore. Stooping down I studied the millions of perfect shells all around my feet – and suddenly I had a panicky feeling that I should take more shells.
Pondering this urge, I began to commune with the Creator of this majestic sea, and to my memory came the verse from the Bible, “The Sea is His, He made it . . ..” I fought the impulse to “take more” and began to praise the One who created all. I found myself rejoicing in the beauty, the simplicity, consistency, and yes, the complexities of the sea. A great peace, satisfaction, serenity and joy began to transform my heart and mind, and I knew I was ready to say good-bye.
Today, far from the beauty of that shoreline, I sort my collection. The smell of the sea clings to the surfaces of the shells, just as the memories of my seaside worship experience cling to my soul. I reflect upon the journey of life we each have embarked upon, and I understand that I must handle each day as an intricate treasure borne upon the sea of life. In this moment, I will rejoice, and be glad. This then is much more then merely happiness. This is joy!
Where have you discovered the greater happiness to be true joy? I’d love to hear from you.