…But I Love Gatherings!

As I sat on the beach, in Ocean Grove, yesterday, I remembered something my wife said to me days ago before we embarked. She said, “don’t freak out about the sand this time.” I love the beach and I do enjoy the sand on my own terms.However, I do my best to avoid getting sand in our beach bag or stuck to the side of our water bottles. I don’t like sand in my shorts and when I would watch our kids plop down in the sand after coming out of the water my eye twitches. I was reminded of an exchange from a movie. Two characters are bemoaning their workplace. The one refers to himself as a ‘people person.’ His friend points out, “you hate people!” To which the first guy replies, “but I love gatherings! Isn’t it ironic? 

The fact that I can love the beach but hate sand seems ridiculous. Hearing someone declare that they hate people, but love gatherings also makes no sense. You can’t have one without the other. What this highlights for me is the ease with which we can complain about things. When my wife asked that I not freak out about the sand, I thought how silly that made me sound. Is this really something I should spend time complaining about? 

The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 2, Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world … As we navigate through this world as believers, we will encounter things that we do not prefer. But do not forget that you have been chosen. You have been saved by grace through faith. We should be grateful and should have the ability to view little annoyances in the light of all eternity. Having confidence in our eternal destination really should right size things for us.

There is no beach without sand, there are no gatherings without people, and there is no life without problems this side of eternity. Even Jesus tells us that we will have tribulation in this world, but we can take heart because He has overcome the world. That reality is what allows me to stick my feet in the sand and remember I am chosen and loved.