“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6 What’s interesting about this verse is the original Greek translates “for they alone shall be filled”…
Breakfast on the Beach commenced early today…I wanted to embrace the sunrise over the sand. It’s quieter here and though I’m not a runner I felt freedom to play along the shore, racing to beat incoming waves to a predicted spot on the beach. The sand is so wet & hard-packed my bare feet left no prints. It’s almost as if I flew above the firmament. My time alone this week has been so permeated with the presence of the Lord I felt my burdens lifted and my heart is no longer heavy…the absence my footprints in the sand is a picture of my inner calmness as I imagine the Lord carrying me & we are floating together.
A few hours ago a woman passed me as I was strolling and praying on the water’s edge. I noticed she was carrying a bag and I watched in curiosity as she repeatedly bent down to pick things up. At first I thought she was collecting shells and then I heard her mutter to herself something about winning the lottery of sand dollars. Sand Dollars…hmmm, hadn’t even occurred to me. Sadly, in an instant my prayers were cut short as my own personal quest for sand dollars overtook me. Greed ensnared me as I felt compelled to gather in “my share” of the bounty. It didn’t take long to realize that chasing after them was more than frustrating. For starters, there were plenty of seashells but sand dollars were much more elusive. My eyes ceased to focus on the splendor of the sun reflecting on endless sea, my ears no longer marveled at the roar of the mighty ocean, the cool breeze blowing across my face was forgotten. I was on a mission—to collect as many sand dollars as I could possibly gather.
Surely God would understand. There’s always time to pray & I can do that anywhere, right? But rarely does an opportunity like this come along. I had to make the most of seeking my fortune while I could. I scoured the beach for the treasure I sought and soon found my first sand dollar. Delighted at my discovery, a large black one, I scooped it up and smiled at my good fortune. “Nice one,” I congratulated myself. Yet no sooner had the words crossed my lips than the treasure crumbled in my hand. “Wow, fragile little things,” I thought to myself. “I’ll have to be more careful with the next one.” Another 5 minutes or so elapsed before I discovered the second one, carefully picked it up & laid it gingerly in a napkin I’d brought along with breakfast. I must have devoted 20 minutes searching for my sand dollar lottery before I realized how crumbly they are when they dry off. I managed to find 5 or 6 in all but the outcome was the same…not one of them remained intact. They cracked & crumbled like week old crackers and all that remained were flakes & grains of sand & pieces of dollars that scarcely hinted of their former design. Disillusioned, I headed back up the beach where I had earlier abandoned my breakfast & my Bible. Embarrassed by the distraction, I apologized to my Lord who was waiting patiently to resume our breakfast on the beach.
Gently the Lord reminded me how foolish it is to go chasing after earthly treasure. It’s not wrong to want nice things. God does not begrudge our possessions. On the contrary, I believe He delights in blessing us. Still, we are to “hold loosely” to the things of this world lest they crumble like sand dollars to be carried away on the wind. “ Take heed and beware of covetousness; for a man’s life consists not of the abundance of things he possess.” Luke 12:15
We are free to accumulate wealth but at what cost? “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36
God calls me to a different kind of riches, “Lay up for yourself treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust corrupts…for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:20
The woman I spotted earlier just passed me again, her bag bulging with the bounty of beach combing…I wondered as she carelessly dropped another sand dollar into her collection bag what will be her reaction when she arrives at her destination to find a bag full of worthless fragments? No small irony that this is called Folly Beach.
“Lord, give me neither poverty or wealth. Provide me only with the food I need…” Proverbs 30:8
Thank you Lord for meeting me once again for breakfast on the beach. And thank you for reminding me that as I hunger & thirst after righteousness, you are the Bread of Life that nourishes my soul until I am filled.