Good News Sierra Journal | Finding your beach and the 10 realities
July 16, 2014
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Sierra Sun encourages faith column submissions; please send a 400-word text document to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Sierra Sun welcomes any and all respectful religious views; however, the views expressed in "Faith Factor" do not necessarily reflect the positions of this newspaper.
Find all the beauty and magic you can in life, despite all the challenges and trivial annoyances.
I just renewed my subscription by finding my beach and riding waves with my son and granddaughter for a few days.
Fireworks, waves, sun, boogie boards, breakfast burritos, seafood, people-watching, my wife's birthday and shooting those little toy helicopters up in the air until exhaustion came over me every night.
My son actually laughed at me, the 64-year-old kid — who I still must be.
THE LITTLE THINGS
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It's the little things that make the magic and the beauty in life. It was the Herculean big brother who carried his severely challenged little brother down to the water, splashed around with him and threw Frisbee together.
It was the grandfather who gallantly rescued his granddaughter when the breakers knocked the girls down and put them in peril. It was my own son challenging the waves and the rip tide, proving his own strength with that fierce look on his face.
It was the moment the police helicopters found the 6-year-old little boy who disappeared, after a mere two-mile jaunt down the beach away from mom and dad.
It was the dolphins and pelicans surfing the waves, the egrets in flight, the sunsets glimmering off the sand.
It's always the little things.
I also had those five days on the beach to revisit the "Ten Realities" to see if they still made sense. Let's see, all things work together for my good. That's solid, right?
You can go through anything, if you know for sure that He makes it all work out in the end. They learned that in the death camps, those who believed in an ultimate purpose could endure almost anything while others fairly quickly tossed in the towel. Our verdict is in as well, right?
Forgiven, and declared righteous. Even modern psychology finally discovered that forgiveness is a really big deal — cleansing and purifying.
Holding on to grudges and resentment is like drinking poison and hoping the other guy dies.
We're also being transformed, changed from the inside out and in the direction of the One who is pure, and perfect and righteous in all His ways. It's not just self-effort, for we so often pitifully fail in the striving.
So, as a result, we can be totally joyful, truly thankful, full of the Spirit, and people of prayer. And what guides our daily steps, the simple reality of loving God and loving others with all our hearts.
What about the rough patches in life?
Like the fly fisherman in the Sierra, we can keep casting all of our cares upon Him, for He cares for us. And as we follow that "Still Small Voice," we employ our gifts and use our creative talents, and let our lights so shine, that others see our good works, and glorify our Father who is in heaven.
Our potential includes being such rivers of living water, that others may want to take a drink, be refreshed, and find their way home spiritually.
Ultimately, we can all celebrate a profound unity and essential oneness with Jesus and with each other. Still works for me, in fact it's the key to all the beauty and magic in life.
Sex, drugs, rock'n'roll and all the materialism that wealth can muster won't get you there. There's still something in our hearts that only God can fill.
So when you hear that still small voice, you'll know what to do.
Randy Allen is a Sierra Sun columnist, worship musician and Bible teacher. He's lived in Truckee for over 30 years.
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