Tonight I am going to borrow an illustration from Rob Bell, as told in #02 of his Nooma series titled, “Shells.”
Rob tells about a time when his family was enjoying a beautiful day on the beach. His young son was delighted to find broken bits of seashells scattered along the water’s edge and ran from piece to piece trying to gather as many as his tiny hands could hold. The sun was warm, the water was blue….it was a good day.
Suddenly Rob spotted a huge starfish, fully formed and glistening in the sun. And it was bobbing right at the surfline next to his boy. “Go get it!” Rob called out to his son. “I can’t!” he replied. “Yes you can. It’s right there….you can do it, just pick it up!” He turned to look at Rob, chin now quivering and said, “I can’t….I’ll drop my shells….”
Breaks my heart every time. I can easily picture that being my son or my daughter….watching them struggle with a decision only they could make, and having to let them choose. So hard…
I wonder how many times I’ve held on to broken shells, afraid to risk losing what I have for something gloriously better.
It’s scary to let go.
It’s risky to let go.
But I don’t want to be content with broken shells. These tiny (well, figuratively) hands are beginning to spread. These eyes are beginning to scan the surfline for treasures. And I can feel God saying, “Go on, sweetie….it’s OK. I understand you’re afraid, but you need to trust me. What you have is good, but what I have for you is so much better. Go get it!”
Wanna come with me? Surf’s up!
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19 NLT