This past weekend, I had the best time with my church’s youth group. We went to Ocean City, NJ, which has become the habit for the Loft the last couple of years, and its easy to see why. Not that Ocean City is the most happening town this time of year, ’cause its not. It’s because we are basically alone at the beach… it’s off-season and the weather is still good.
I hadn’t had the opportunity to go on a youth retreat for awhile, since I started working with the k-5 y.o.’s. I missed it, but I love working where I am now, that I don’t know that I would go back if given the opportunity.
And I love the beach.
I was asked to lead worship through the weekend for the youth, and heartily agreed. It was a great experience, and I definitely felt God throughout the whole weekend, because I knew I could not do it on my own.
On Sunday morning we went down to the beach for some ocean time, and a time of worship with a lesson led by Pastor Todd. As I trudged past the dunes, guitar in tow, I noticed that there was a strange set of footprints amongst those of the kids who had run before me. A raccoon had been on the beach. Probably looking for clams and trash washed ashore over the night’s high tide.
At that moment I had a small flash… we are not the only ones on this beach. God did not create all the world for us; this sun-rising, foggy beach was not prepared for me to stand on a couple of days a year. I prayed that our worship that morning would not be outdone by the ocean, the million grains of sand, or even by the raccoons, which all can see so plainly, perhaps, what we have to scavenge to perceive.