Over spring break, my family took a week long cruise. And whenever I would tell anyone where I was going, I would have to explain that my family doesn’t do hotels. Like we literally only stay in hotels in like Wisconsin, and that’s it. We just love the ocean. We love the fact that we are completely cut off from the world, surrounded by nothing but the depths of the great abyss.
I was having lunch with my mom on the cruise on one of the days at sea (a day of travel on the cruise where there is no land in sight, and for 24 hours all you see is a deep blue for hundreds of miles all around), and we got to the topic of oceans.
Me: “Mom, why is it so fun for us to just stare at the ocean. Like you and I just spent the past hour not even saying a word–just watching the water.”
Mom: “It’s been an hour already??”
Me: “Yes! we didn’t even realize it!”
Mom: “Geez. (She didn’t really say geez, this is just the english equivalent to her arabic expression).”
Me: “But that’s my point. Why is this so entertaining to us? Why do we love the ocean so much? It’s just water.”
Mom: “Well, for a number of reasons. Oceans remind us how small we are. On land, we feel that we are large because we are surrounded by small chairs, or little iPods and cellphones, and tiny children. At sea, you realize that you are not as big as you thought, because you see this vast nothingness up close.”
Me: “Yea, but I mean, that’s not enough to keep me staring at it in silence for an hour.”
Mom: “True, but there is more. Oceans keep your secrets. You weren’t just sitting there doing nothing; you were thinking. You were talking to the ocean. Can you imagine all the secrets this ocean has heard since the beginning of time? And it will never tell a soul. Once you tell the ocean, it stays there until the end of the world. It is infinite.”
Me: “I’ve never thought of it like that, I guess. Now I’m thinking of all pirates, explorers, travelers on planes, those lost at sea, those who died, and even those on the beach just enjoying the bliss of a vacation. All of them have told this ocean secrets, and it just collects them and never needs to ‘delete’ any.”
Mom: “Exactly. Oceans remind me of God in that way. Just like an ocean, God is larger than we can fathom. When we compare ourselves to him, we are nothing but a small speck of nothing, physically, but he loves each one of us as though we are worth the world to him. He also is our best friend. He keeps every one of our secrets–even the ones we forget–and he never has to delete them to make room for more. And his love is just as infinite. God doesn’t divide his love. He loves each child, adult, animal, insect, and plant with all the love he has. No one gets more or less than the other.”
Me: “So we love the ocean because it’s the closest thing we have to seeing God?”
Mom: “Well, everyone has their ways of seeing God, this is just mine.”
“Oceans” by: Hillsong United