Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Proper fear

I love the ocean. I love biking its shores, watching its creatures scurrying along the sand, feeling it's cool waters licking my ankles, listening to its cadenced roar- I love everything about it except swimming in it. I could tell watching Matt playing in the deeper water while Karissa cavorted like a dolphin near him that he felt similarly. Something about his stance told me he was suffering the deep water to be a kind companion but he would be much happier throwing the frisbee on shore.

I then watched the lifeguard swim furiously into the water beyond them and then signal everyone out of the water. I waved frantically to Asherel to get out figuring at the very least the lifeguard had spotted a jellyfish invasion. As I gathered with my kids and Karissa, they told me it had been a rip current and the lifeguard just wanted them to move over 50 feet. But Matt for sure didn't look excited to return to those treacherous waters and they opted to head to the swimming pool. Later Matt told me that just before the lifeguard ordered them out, he had been arguing with Karissa about all the dangers of the ocean.

While the lifeguard vindicated Matt, I feel bad that I passed my fears on to him. It is a fine line between being a wise,protecting parent and being a neurotic mess. I tend to the latter.

The ocean is awesome, magnificent, and wondrous .... But it is not safe and must be approached with respect. I cringe when I see people let small, poor
swimmers treat it like a kiddie pool. I similarly cringe when I hear people talk about God as "the big man upstairs" or "the big daddy" or other flippant labels. God is awesome, magnificent and wondrous, but He is not "safe" and should be treated with respect. Sometimes fear is out of proportion, but sometimes I think we don't fear the right thing enough.

Luke 12:4-5
"I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. [5] But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.

- Nothing is impossible with God
- hollowcreekfarm.org


  1. I, on the other hand, am further north but am in the same ocean and whilst the occasional jelly fish floats by, I am not fearful. I realize it tends to negate the message of the blog, my absence of fear, but I am too swept away by the beauty, the roar, the swimming, the amazing birds, the dear family, the bliss of spending hours reading and dozing under the umbrella with the love of my life by my side. Therefore, today I prefer this from the Bible, "fear not, for I am with you always".

  2. Note you describe everything but being IN the ocean. I have no fear unless IN the ocean. But the
    point of the blog was the fear of God, not of the ocean.
    Ps-asherel got stung by a jelly fish today
    and has a healthier respect of
    the ocean.