I stood in the ocean on the coast of California and reflected on my life; where I’ve been and where I’m going. It was a rare moment to connect again with God through his creation and the vastness of the open waters and beautiful sky. I don’t know why but I seem to finally be able to put the pieces of life together when I look out over the water and see nothing man made. As the pacific sun warmed up on that January afternoon, I was glad to be out of the “Polar Vortex” that plagued us for so long this winter. As I looked out toward the horizon, I said, “God, here I am. We have come a long way.“ A brief pause in the journey, a “rest stop” along the super freeway of life…on which we’ve traveled many miles.
I was out on the coast to take a little time, and to visit our son in college. I thought, “Wow, he is 19.“ This was the very beach where I taught him to swim when he was little, where I used to pull him on the boogie board and first introduced him to the ocean waves, and the tide pools just down the shore line. It was so hard to comprehend, that tomorrow I’d be visiting my him for the first time in college…all grown up. My mind flooded with all those memories as the ocean waves kept crashing against my legs. I thought of the song “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin, the song that tells the story of a son who wants time with his dad but the father was too busy… I never wanted to be that kind of dad. I worked real hard at building those special times together. But I wondered to myself, “Did I do everything I wanted to do with him while he was growing up?” Did I miss anything during those years? Did I accomplish what I wanted to as his Dad? For a little while I had my own “Cat’s in the Cradle” moment.
Maybe you have wondered, like me, if you have done enough for your kids. Maybe you look back and see moments where you feel like you could have done more. I’ve had to trust in God’s faithfulness to give me grace for the times I’ve fallen short and be encouraged that you can trust him too. We’re not in this alone. God is always with you and for you – giving you grace for when you fall and a fresh start to try again. While reflecting on my life, I clearly felt God reminding me of His faithfulness! That I could look back and celebrate that He has brought me to this place in my life. And I finally “got it!” So, after 45 minutes of standing in the ocean and talking to God, I finally shouted… “Thank you to God. Thank you for your faithfulness!” (I love standing in the ocean cause I can shout and talk to God and nobody else can hear me.)
The next morning, I set out to see my son on his college campus. And I couldn’t wait. As I hit scan button on the rental car radio, the station landed on the song “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin. And I said thank you God, for your faithfulness, and for the years you have given me, and the time that’s yet to come. His faithfulness is as wide and deep as the ocean.