Push and pull, push and pull, back and forth, back and forth. The tide sucked at my feet and buried my toes as I stood at the edge of the shore with my children. The waves were strong. My footing had to be adjusted with each pull and each push of the waves.
As I felt the rhythm pounding around me, beneath me, on me I wondered, how do I respond to the motion of life. The push and pull is constant. I wonder if I appropriately adjust my balance, leaning into the pull, stepping back with the push? Or do I respond as I always have, plowing through, headless of the changing tide?
Sometimes I go full throttle, riding with the forward motion and fighting the backward pull with all my might. I end up tired and worn out. Equally as frustrating, I pull back not knowing when to ride the fresh current, instead remaining withdrawn, missing the swell of adventure. Fighting the rhythm.
Retreat and advance, stillness and action, both are necessary in life. But I wonder if I've slowed to listen, dipping my toes in the water, long enough to learn the rhythm. God has given us clues. Our bodies, the seasons, night and day, his word, the Holy Spirit, our communities, all give us cues as to a healthy rhythm for our lives.
The tide of life is a reality we can't afford to ignore. Loss and gain, work and rest, joy and sorrow, plenty and want, old and new, come and go, they are our teachers if we will listen, yielding ourselves to their pull. If we fight this ebb and flow of life we will end up weary, worn out from thrashing against waves that never relent. The Holy Spirit, through times of reflection and prayer, will lead us through the waves. God's word shows us how to respond. Are we listening?
Watching my children play delightedly in the surf, their bodies rocking with the motion, I know there is joy in yielding to the tide. What waves are you fighting in your life at the moment? How can you adjust your balance to face the push and pull of your life?