This past weekend my family and I went to the Oregon coast and spent a couple of days camping in a KOA Kabin. It was one of the best ‘short’ vacations we’ve had in a long time. I missed my older son being with us, but he is 18 now and kind of ‘over’ the whole camping thing. We took in a few local sights around Newport and Waldport, OR, including the Sea Lion cave in which there were no Sea Lions. Sadly, they had already moved up the coast, but they offered free tickets for us to come back when the seals return! The cave was still a remarkable place to visit without the Sea Lions though – I highly recommend it. Of course, the lighthouses along the coast are a personal favorite and always remind me of my favorite Hallmark series, Cedar Cove. This photo will be on my bathroom wall soon.
The most memorable part of the trip for me was visiting the Devil’s Punchbowl. Our intent was to just see the punchbowl, eat at Mo’s, then be on our merry way. When we arrived however, we walked up to the fence and looked out into the ocean to see not one, but two whales! They were playing ‘peek-a-boo’ mostly – never coming up very far, but simply popping up here and there. It was an amazing sight regardless! Ever since I watched Star Trek IV, I’ve always wanted to see a whale…and not in a zoo. I finally saw one! Internally, when he popped up (and in my best ‘Scotty’ voice) I thought ‘Admiral…there be whales on board!’ That’s my favorite part of the movie! Yes…I’m a Star Trek geek…live with it.
Many years ago, I heard a story shared by Christian author and speaker, Luci Swindoll, about her whale watching experience. She was determined to see a whale during her trip and in doing so, she missed out on a seeing a little group of penguins splashing and frolicking around together making the other passengers laugh. She was on the other side of the boat waiting for a whale, but it never came. By the time she went over to see what everyone else was laughing about, the penguins had dispersed. She later thought that if she hadn’t been so fixated on seeing a whale, that she too would have had a few moments of laughter and joy watching the penguins. Her advice to us was ‘don’t focus too hard on seeing the whale, because you might just miss the penguins’. That story has stayed with me all these years. It was a life lesson of sorts, but some lessons are harder to learn than others. I admit it…I am easily distracted and always seem to focus on the whale!
I do believe that God gives us opportunities to see a whale, but it’s probably when we least expect it! And when we do, it’s even more special. We can get so caught up in attaining our goals or winning the ‘prize’ at the end, that it cause us to miss out on the simple joys that life’s journey alone can provide. The good news though, is that God truly wants us to SEE THE WHALE! I imagine it’s brings him a great deal of joy too, watching our reaction when we finally see it. I love penguins, but seeing that whale this past weekend, even just a tiny sliver of him, was amazing. For me, it was exactly what I needed right at that moment.
What’s the whale in your life? Do you constantly strive for it to the point of exhaustion? Do you neglect your spouse or your family in pursuit of it? Even worse…do you neglect God trying to achieve it? I know I have. So I encourage you to take time and enjoy all those little things that come your way on the journey God has placed you, whatever and wherever that may be. You might just see a glimpse of that whale when you aren’t even looking for it. #whalewatching #enjoythejourney
Until next time, enjoy your journey!