Pebbles and peace at Point Roberts

Posted by seanho on Sat 19 April 2008

`49° 58' 25" N by 123° 5' 5" W <>`__

What an odd feeling -- today feels like a real Sabbath! I know I've been wearing myself thin lately, doing way too much; it's not sustainable long-term. Teaching at TWU is enjoyable and provides some nice stability, but the church ministries are where my heart's really at -- and the opportunities have really skyrocketed the past couple years. I have, though, been trying to block out my Saturdays to be a Sabbath rest: some time to think and pray and really wait upon the Lord.

This morning's ACTS commencement ceremony at South Delta Baptist was really truly restful for me -- and not just because I didn't have any responsibilities! (Next Saturday will be TWU's commencement; that's when I'll have to wear my floofy hat and sit on stage.) The atmosphere at the ACTS graduation was relaxed, steady, and worshipful. I spread out across a couple pews in the sparsely-populated balcony and enjoyed the soft worship music, while admiring the view out a wall of 40-foot-tall windows to a stand of Douglas Firs, and the amber fields beyond. It was such a blessing to be there and cheer on friends; they are both prepared and called to God's work.

The church is pretty far away from home, but quite close to the border with Point Roberts. I'd never been there, so after the ceremony, I decided to swing south just to check things out. Point Roberts is a peculiar little promontory on the Tsawwassen Peninsula, the tip of which juts south of the 49th parallel, the boundary between Canada and the U.S. There is no land connection from Point Roberts to the rest of Washington State without going through Canada, although there are ferries across Boundary Bay. The whole enclave is less than five square miles in area, but it has a thriving industry of mailboxes and gas stations for Canadian residents wishing to take advantage of good exchange rates. There's even a NEXUS lane here (unlike at my nearest crossing, in Lynden/Aldergrove), so my border crossing today was quick and hassle-free.

Here on this rocky beach it's windy and chilly; the surf pounds and smooths the stones at my feet. I stand on a large rock at the threshold of the water, at the very tip of the peninsula, and face forward into the wind, watching the clouds swirl past the sun. On the surface of the waves, a small flock of loons bobs aimlessly, huddling together for protection. Not far away, a small log of driftwood pokes up through the surface of the water briefly, then disappears. Its motion seems a bit more purposeful than mere driftwood, though. Suddenly, the loons disperse and take to the sky, and in a moment I see the reason why: the small log pokes up again; it is the snout of a sea lion, less than 30 feet away from me.

My time here today is a little less than my usual walks on the beach; I need to get back. I still have many, many things I need to do; indeed, many things past-due: marking and teaching, preaching and praying, retreats and Sunday services, programs and people and relationships. But today, this Sabbath day, my heart is kept in the peace of Christ.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

More photos in a separate album.

tags: beach, musings, sabbath,