I was a seasoned, philosophical woman about the age of four or five when my family visited the seaside and I found myself surrounded by the blissful roar of waves. I could feel the spiritual beauty of the place and communing with my own soul on the nearly empty beach at sunset I felt strong, powerful, and much as the goddess I was meant to become. I remember wading among the splashing waves, feeling the water lap against my skin and gazing across the westward horizon where the fiery sun touched lightly the edge of the visible earth. I could feel the salty air invigorate me and as I braved the oncoming waves I felt that I could take on anything. I felt passion pouring through my veins, defiance and fearlessness enveloping my body and I dared the whole ocean to try to overcome my own personal majesty. Never, I thought, could all the pounding of the sea lower me or overpower me even an inch. I was too strong. My mind continued vaguely in this direction and I cringe horribly to remember briefly the thought that I could even take on God Himself and prevail.
That was dumb.
The next instant a mighty wave broke over my suddenly small and fragile five year old self, catching me up in a swirling torrent and throwing me head over heals, again and again, through the implacable Pacific current. I hadn't had time to fill my lungs before I found myself taken captive by the water and I remember scrambling, fighting as hard as my young arms and legs could thrash to regain footing and catch breath. I could feel my body completely devoid of air now and found my chest and stomach embracing sand, still thoroughly immersed but now under calm, shallow and easily mastered water. I remember feeling overwhelmingly happy because surely this was the end of the tumult and I was about to inhale pure air again to ease my desperately needy and almost panicky lungs. As I lifted myself up the barest inch a second unseen wave smashed down mercilessly directly onto the back of my head and at last I emerged, exhausted, tumbled and unalterably beaten with a mouthful of wet sand.
Yeah. I laugh about it too now.
I'm grateful for that day. I am grateful that I have a Heavenly Father who loved me enough to shove me under the water and force my arrogant little head into the dirt. I learned my lesson at that point in my earthly experience. I learned who was in charge and in many ways have never forgotten it. Although I sometimes still need a tender hug from the Almighty as it were when things are going badly and I need to remember that He has a plan, but never since then have I thought myself greater than my God. Never have I felt myself safe in the idea of cursing my Maker. I have heard others curse the Lord in their anger and it seems strange to me that He answered me so completely at so young an age when first I stepped across the line. I am not sure what the difference is except that we all learn differently and we learn different things at varying points in our lives. Perhaps those people know truths I have yet to discover. But I am grateful to know that God was paying attention to my obnoxious five year old self and cared enough about me to cultivate His relationship with me. Maybe when we feel God is punishing us for our misdeeds He is merely letting us know He is there and loves us enough to keep us from straying too far away.