For the last 5 years, I have lived close enough to walk to the ocean in about 5 minutes. When you step outside, the air smells salty and kind of fishy. From the parsonage porch, when it’s hushed out, you can hear the waves. And while it’s good to be close to the ocean, it’s even better to be sitting on the sand, watching the sunrise over the waves.
Some nights I invite my closest friends over for a sleepover. We will stay up late eating snacks and watching movies, but we plan to get up to see the sunrise. So we set 17 alarms to wake up in time to jump up, put on shoes with our pj’s, and drive over to the ocean. On cold mornings, we gather on the sand in a penguin huddle, waiting to see the first peek of light. Often, we’re there just to take pictures for Instagram. Other times we’re just there for us, for a quiet time to be together. But every time, we’re amazed at the beauty of it all, and we find a few minutes to pray.
If we stayed home, we probably would not pray together, not gonna lie. Something about the ocean leads us to talk with God. It’s a beautiful, peaceful, Spirit-filled place. The sound of the water, the peace of the moment, restores my soul. When I talk with God, when I let God in, God is watering me, restoring the parched and dry land where I try to take care of everything myself. God reminds me of where to find real water, how to stay spiritually hydrated.
Thank you, God, for calling me to you with ocean waves and a sunrise. Thank you, God, for offering us water and helping us flourish and grow like a well-watered garden. May we bear fruit and live to glorify you. Amen.
Emily Lain is Conference Youth President for North Carolina Conference Youth Ministries