I could definitely live here.
Perhaps I will one day. I can already imagine what my little beach bungalow might look like. I can even picture myself curled up in an adirondack on the deck facing the ocean, laptop out, writing away hour after hour.
It’s a nice little daydream, isn’t it? Something about that identity draws me, beckons me. Lofty, it’s not. But there’s a certain romantic element I can’t help but be attracted to.
On the other hand, it’s not lost on me that the real life I get to live every day, though quite different, is just as wonderful. The idyllic shoreline scenery is replaced by a mountain landscape I adore. We don’t have an adirondack chair, but I’m pretty enamored with my front porch rocker. There’s no time to write for hours on end, but there’s never a lack of books and papers spread across our kitchen table as I homeschool my three children.
Perhaps this identity is not as distinguished as that of a beachside author. But it’s one I’m thankful for nonetheless.
I stood at the water’s edge this morning, my feet firmly planted as I reveled in the ocean view.
Actually, “firmly planted” is a pretty generous term for all the near stumbling and almost toppling and constant repositioning that occurred.
As you might expect, despite my best efforts to be firmly planted, my feet constantly shifted as the grains of sand ebbed and flowed beneath them.
Sometimes the shifts were subtle. Slight nuances barely noticeable until the water had etched a tunnel beneath me. A tunnel that collapsed under my weight sooner rather than later.
Other times, bigger waves crashed up to my knees and shoved the sand from under my feet in one fell swoop.
Such is the nature of planting myself upon the sand, no matter how firmly.
As I stood pondering this, I considered children who might build a castle on the sand…how quickly it would disintegrate under the slightest pressure from wind or rain or tides.
And then I imagined the best architects and builders coming together to build a house upon the sand, determined to plant it firmly. To build it solidly. Taking every effort to secure it as no other house had been secured in the history of houses being built by men.
It wouldn’t make a difference, would it?
Because no matter how stable the structure seems, or how firmly it appears to be planted, it makes absolutely no difference if the foundation itself is built on sand.
Constantly shifting. Changing with the ebbs and flows of life and relationships and choices and hard things.
There’s so much sand in the world, isn’t there? Unstable…erratic…volatile material completely unsuitable for the foundation of a life.
No matter how loudly money shouts, or how boldly the world touts.
No matter how fame allures, or how power assures.
And no matter how firmly you and I cling to these things or how solidly we think we’re building upon them…
they’re still nothing more than sand.
I tend to build upon the sand of identity.
I label myself as this, I call myself that.
I view myself this way. But not like that.
Perhaps you can relate.
And it could be that you and I need to consider the enormous pressure we put on ourselves by doing this. Pressure that accompanies an attitude that says I can be all things to all people. Or at least a lot of things to a lot of people.
Perhaps we also need to realize identity can be an idol – something we grip and grasp and glorify at all costs.
Because here’s the thing…
when my eyes are focused on who I am rather than who He is, I’m the one who misses out. Because can “missing out” get any worse than missing Him?
And when my hands are occupied with clutching all of my dearly-held identities,
they aren’t free to reach out to Him.
The truth is, though I could come up with a dozen or more titles for myself, they all equate to shifting sand, completely undependable for the foundation of my life.
I am His.
And whatever He decides to add to or take away from the rest of who I am and what I do and who I love and how I serve…
well, that’s up to Him.
My only Solid Rock and Sure Foundation.
Written by Jennifer Clarke