Growing up, in Lake Havasu was exciting, at least in part, well, during the summer time anyway. A big part of the typical life there revolved around the lake and those type of activities. When very young most of us were limited to the shore, the beaches.
We had pretty much innocent fun; frisbee, racing through burning hot sand, head first into the water as the depth limited the high steps and forced the dive. We jumped off cliffs, did some flips off the lower cliffs, played tag in the water, hide and seek – always ending up under the docks breathing in the open cavities of the structure, and just hanging out.
As we got older the games got more exciting, more dangerous. Many of us graduated from the innocent games into the deeper water; the boats… with big V-8’s. Ironically the years of burning the candle at both ends while on the water of life left us in search of smooth water.
Smooth water and a decent ski were the things that brought the pinnacle of living. In the midst of speed, noise, and danger, there was peace in the moment. I think that’s the story of most of our lives. We search for peace and joy in all the wrong places.
People travel the earth in search of meaning and fulfillment, similar to how we searched for it in our youth on the water. We struggle and strain to fill our lives with fun or a good time, often never understanding the difference between fun and joy.
I’m not saying fun is a bad thing, I love to have fun, to laugh, maybe even to a fault, but I’ve come to understand there is a massive difference between fun and joy. Fun happens on the outside and gives us a special feeling on the inside. Joy is just the opposite; joy happens on the inside and gives us a special feeling on the outside.
We’d get up before the summer sun in search of smooth water to ski on, other times wait until dusk to find the magical smooth water to ride across in satisfaction. It’s not so different for all of us years removed from the days of youth; we still strain and struggle to find that smooth water to ride our lives across.
We seek that fun on the outside often believing it will give us that peace and joy to endure the rough waves of life. Every so often we find a patch of smooth water, but we know it’s temporary, we all get to navigate the rough waters whether we want to or not.
It’s similar to the springing sunny mornings or the sinking setting sun evenings. The boats created choppy waters that always kept us moving away from the boat’s spreading wake, kinda like how we are the ones usually causing our own choppy waters and even storms in our lives.
It’s taken a while, but I’ve learned peace and joy can’t be calculated or determined based solely on our circumstances in life. Sometimes we have smooth water, other times it’s a storm… Our perspective will depend on the ocean of our heart. God grants peace and stills the water of our hearts. The characteristics of the water physically have no bearing on us if we seek His truth first in heart then deed.
It’s peculiar how when we have a proper perspective of the world and it’s storms, our lives seem to be filled with more days of the calming smooth water.
Searching for smooth water is like quenching out thirst; it’s always temporary and fleeting.
Finding the smooth water within is a gift from God…
And it’s eternal.