Cruising

The Herald-News
October 30, 2013

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1)

We saved for years, booked early, and went on a seven day cruise to the Caribbean for our fortieth anniversary last week. It was wonderful! Sorry, I didn’t miss you.

If you’re edgy about being on the water, don’t go. Once, the ocean’s depth was 18,700 feet. That’s more miles down than I can walk on flat land. If you don’t like to eat, don’t go. All I will say is: I am dreading my upcoming blood test.

I don’t recommend a 24/7, inseparable experience for nine days, 2100 nautical miles, and 1700 miles of traveling to start unless, of course, you do like each other. The ship was touted to be the largest cruise ship in the world but it could get pretty small if you don’t really like your cruising partner. Our stateroom was very nice, but I am glad during our forty years together someone introduced me to “count others more significant than yourselves” in small places.

Without question, 216 hours of uninterrupted time with my bride was the best thing about the trip. A love song says “I’ve grown accustomed to your face…” Cheryl’s accepting smile that won my heart four decades ago increasingly lights up my world and to gaze upon it all day, every day was immeasurably satisfying. Truly, I married up.

We had amazing weather, including one night of violent lightning and rain (very exciting at sea). Most nights were filled with remarkable moon comings and goings. For me, the icing on the cake was the sunrises. They were earlier as we traveled southward, but worth every minute of sleepiness to sneak out, grab a cup of java, and go to a quiet place to watch God wake up the world. Sunrises and sunsets over the ocean develop slowly, lingering with a palette of unrepeatable colors never found in a Crayola box.

I offered creation Psalms to The Father: “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host. He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses.” (33:6-7); “Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent.” (104:1-2)

Creation is a double-edged sword. Cutting through our self-orientation, it screams of God’s glorious might and provision for every need. It can—and should— move us to worship Creator and not creation. It’s more than pretty or majestic for us; it’s about God.

Romans 1 tells us the dark edge of creation can turn us from Creator-God to lesser gods and self. Scripture is clear: creation is the original and sustaining work of Jesus Christ. To ignore Him is to miss the deepest, sweetest delights of Caribbean sunrises and Smoky Mountain forests.

Father, winter is near. Help me to not forget You on dry land each sunrise and sunset this year.

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