Driftwood: A Meditation



Recently I was sitting on the beach beside a lake, and as I sat there I began to think about David writing Psalms of praise in response to experiencing the presence of God in the midst of nature.

Quietly looking out across the water, I prayed to be taken into a deeper experience of God’s presence and reality…

My attention was drawn to a piece of driftwood…

As I sat there praying and looking at this driftwood, I began to think about the waves lapping against it and how smooth this wood had become from the actions of the water on it over the course of time. I began to think about God as the water, smoothing out the rough edges of my own life…

And then I prayed that God would open my mind to deeper truths…

After a while, I began to notice that whilst in some places the water washed over the wood, in others the wood prevented water from reaching the shore, whereas in others it simply washed underneath it.

I began to think about the ways we set up barriers around God; preventing others from experiencing God with our poor example, or by insisting that God is to be known in a particular way. At the same time, I also began to think about the ways God is not controlled by humans. Just as nature eventually breaks down our human constructs, so does God.

As I sat there, I prayed that God would open my mind to even deeper truths…

I then noticed there were sharp objects in the wood. I thought about how God working in my life had revealed the harsh and destructive things that needed to be dealt with. I also noted that I could not pull these things from the wood myself, and that only over the course of time would the movement of the water gently soften the wood and allow them to gradually fall away.

I prayed that God would open my mind to even deeper truths…

It was then that I noticed the nails in the wood, which led me to think of the nails which had held Christ to the cross. I began to think about how his life and death had changed my life and had revealed hidden truths about God.

I began to think about why his life was so different…

And then I realised that this piece of driftwood was on the edge of the land and the water…

The lake being the actions of God…

The beach where I was sitting…

And the wood and nails which lay in between.

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