I vividly remember the Pacific Ocean
As the evening tide crushed the turf.
The horizon expanded as we approached its depth.
This represented the first defining moment of my trip.
My friends and I made small talk as we walked along the shoreline
Introspectively anticipating the coming beauty.
Finally, the spectacle that is the California sunset
Cascaded itself down the dark blue
Transforming the sky into a plethora of color
Red, orange, purple, fire.
I sat down in the water, allowing the ocean
To engulf my feet.
As I languished in the middle of the sand and turf,
I realized these were the only things
Separating me from innumerable miles
Of liquid eternity.
Forty days later, I sit at my desk
Trying to recall every minute detail
So I can once again savor that natural majesty.
Thank God for digital cameras
And cameras in general.
I couldn't even imagine living in the era
Before each moment and image of our lives
Could be successfully documented.
A century and some odd years ago
There'd been solitary travelers
Who had transversed hundreds or thousands of miles
To gaze upon such wonder.
Their only methods of capturing and absorbing these things
Had been their memory
And the occasional journal entry.
I guess I'm realizing how lucky we are.
During the last month and ten days or so
I've experienced more frustrations than I expected for this semester.
However, even when the battle of a particular day seemed lost
I clung to the image of the sunset
A snapshot of brilliance
A beacon of hope
Something that fulfills the natural and innate desire to be satisfied
By something much greater than our human experience.
In addition to reminiscing about my spring break trip
I've also enlisted the help of some of my favorite albums
From high school, the ones that characterized my days at JCIB.
I echo Jon Foreman of Switchfoot as he cries:
"I'm lost without You here."
I cannot help but think about the irony of this lyric
At least in my own life.
You never left me.
I was the one who ran away
From Your hope and truth.
A foolish man trying to discover purpose on his own.
Instead of scolding me like a nagging parent
You patiently pursued me and whispered to me
How much You cherished me.
When I began to approach the point of no return
You shouted for me to come home.
You knew there was something much better
Than the path I'd chosen for the moment.
Finally, in my desparation I turned back to look at You for one last time
And discovered You were much closer than I'd imagined.
In that moment, exuberant rejoicing announced victory
Throughout the heavenly realms
As joy surged through my heart once again.