I have just returned from my annual pilgrimage to the beach. I call it a pilgrimage because for me, being at the beach is spiritual. It is the place I feel most like myself…..whole somehow. We have been going to the same beach for many years now, and each year it is the same. I walk on the shore looking for that perfect, desirable shell. Somehow, I always convince myself that no matter how many others have searched before me, if I look intently enough, God will place that enviable shell at my feet.
This summer was no differenct. I found myself scouring the sand for my perfect shell. Excitedly, I would spot one, pick it up, and find upon inspection that it was pretty but not perfect. Throwing it back to sea, I moved on to continue my search. After a few days of picking up and throwing down, one of those “ah-ha” moments happened. I realized that often our lives are just like my shell search. We are so intent on finding that perfect life that we often miss the beautiful imperfect moments of the real life God has designed for us. I am learning that being cracked, broken, tossed about, and worn are what makes me who I am. It is through these imperfect moments that I grow and learn to appreciate the journey of my life. Just as the shell’s journey from sea to shore scars it’s surface, so our journey marks our lives with trials and challenges. It is what we take from these imperfections that determines who we become.
Yes, it is true, I am far from perfect. Thank goodness, God, the Perfect One, isn’t going to throw me back!