One morning on our trip to Jamaica last week we went and swam in the ocean before doing anything else.
It was right before seven when we jumped in the cold but comforting ocean. There was nobody else in the water for as far as we could see. We both swam with the joy of two nine-year old’s who recently got out of school for the summer. We swam with the freedom a week with no responsibility offers. The water that early in the morning looked like a sheet of glass with only a few wrinkles. As I looked out to the horizon I understood why we once thought the world was flat. The seemingly endless water was perfectly level until it gently met the sky. Everything in the moment was perfect. After getting out, we made a quick trip to breakfast and after chowing down on eggs and fried bammy I was back at the beach. I started reading, but as I did my mind drifted from the pages in my hand and I thought about the people who stayed by the pool all day at our resort.
The pool is cool. There is a swim up bar and a lot of people and activities. However, the natural body of water which was so clear and perfect was right next to them and many of them didn’t even think about getting into it or even looking at it. They were content with a pool which many people have in their backyard. It reminded me of someone who loves television and pays for high definition but only watches TV in standard definition.
As my thoughts continued to jump off these observations I was reminded of this C.S. Lewis quote I read once which suddenly had new meaning:
It would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday by the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
As the days went on and I would walk by people who sat at the pool all day I would want to grab them and ask them if they knew what they were missing. There was an abundance of beauty and perfection right near them but they were content watching a fake waterfall flow into a tiny man made hole. There wasn’t a long distance between the pool and the ocean but there was a significant chasm between the two.
I wonder how often God has looked at the possessions and unfulfilled desires I constantly drift to and longed for me to look at what is right in front of me. What is offered is so much better then what I tend to pursue. It’s offered to all of us. It’s free and it is right next to us.
Don’t be content to play with a mud pie in a slum when the pure blue Caribbean Sea is calling your name.