I used to not do Easter.
Then I used to spend Easter mornings at the beach.
There is something intimate and vast, private and public, personal and corporate about an Easter Morning spent on the beach. Easter is so personal; I must be with Him where I experience him the clearest. Hovering over the waters.
The Gulf of Mexico has always been my sanctuary. I experience God's spirit in the gentle breeze in the palms. He is just there. Always ready to meet me. Maybe it is because the rhythms of the beach actually quiet my brain and let Him get a word in, finally.
The meetings I shared with God were always bigger than the simple quiet moments, fragrant breezes and hand painted sunsets. They were moments of preparation.
Years ago, I came to the shore looking for healing and solace. It was a moment when everything was swirling and I just needed to get my head and heart grounded. God showed up that day. He always met me where the surf slipped up to the sand. I always expected him to be there.
That day I was not prepared for what He had to say. After a time of gently speaking to my spirit, He prompted the question: “Why do you only seek me here? I am more than just something floating over the waters. Why do you not take me with you? You don't force me in a box, but you don’t let me in your life with you.”
He was right.
That Easter, I realized to live a resurrected life, to live with resurrection power, to be useful to the King and the Kingdom, I had to take my God off the beach and into my everyday life.
So, Easter became, for me, revisiting the place where I was reminded my God is the father of the man who rose from the dead. My God is the sender of the Counselor, the Holy Spirit who speaks when I need it-whereever I need it. Easter for me became about rising in the power of the Risen Savior and walking with Him through my journey. Not just visiting when I needed refueling.
Today, years after the lesson of how I had limited God, I consider my celebration of Easter and I am reminded what bringing God with me has brought me. There is family and ministry and friends and love. Life persists past the challenges only because God goes with me. He has taught me to walk through my day and see Him. In all of it.
I did need to take him off that beach and bring him into my life.
He was right.