Is your mind travelling in heavy traffic with bumper-to-bumper pressure? Do your thoughts race at a speed that could be measured in miles-per-hour? Does your daily routine resemble the hustle and bustle of an airport terminal or the floor of the New York Stock Exchange?
If you’ve answered yes to any of the above and/or use the word hectic too often, then you need a vacation. When we think of vacations, we usually imagine ourselves relaxing on a beach, in some tropical paradise, sipping some fruity drink with a paper umbrella in it. Just the thought of an island getaway washes over our senses like the evening tide, however, this may not be the prescription to cure what ails us.
Our Pastor, Dr. Lester Sumrall, always used to say, “If you have to go 10 minutes from your house to find peace and happiness, you won’t find it.” I took this statement to heart realizing that I could go on a treasure hunt and discover my own island right inside my home.
So often we get too busy to notice the simple treasures that God gives each of us. These gifts are what make us rich and yet, when unnoticed, leave us emotionally bankrupt. Why? We are rushing through our drive-thru Christianity ordering our menus and complaining that it’s taking too long. We focus too much on the major needs instead of the minor rewards. I can hear God crying out to us, “Look, open your eyes and look all around you and see what I’ve given you. I’m in simplicity as well as magnificence. I created minute detail as well as majestic grandeur. All you have to do is look. I’m not on a website and I’m not faxing you a list, just look for yourself!”
One afternoon, I was sitting on a stool at our island in the middle of the kitchen, and I began to reminisce about different things that took place there. I began to “look” in, on and around my island in the kitchen where I’ve had many treasured moments. It happens to be one of the central places in our house where activity abounds and everyone seems to congregate. As I continue to explore, my discovery reveals that God has stored a great deal of treasure on my island. As I chip away at the stony complexity that attempts to keep my treasure hidden, simplicity surfaces and the glittering jewels are in full view.
On my island, I see where I’ve filled baby bottles, bandaged scraped knees and nursed bruised hearts while kissing away tears. There have been years of birthday cakes, balloons, and presents found on my island and squeals of delight from my children as choruses of Happy Birthday echo in my mind. Arts and crafts, school projects and every imaginable play-dough creature were brought to life on my island which is where my husband and I were crowned the King and Queen of Coloring! Cupcakes, Christmas cookies, and very messy attempts at homemade bread with my son and daughter well up in my memory much like the tears did when I packed the first lunch box for school.
There have been hours of long talks, some with laughter and some with tears at my island. Those hours shared with my husband, our sisters, our parents, and family and friends alike, are conversations that have impacted my life and warm my heart like a tropical sun. My island offers everything and more than any other island getaway does in essence. It costs me nothing to behold the beauty of God’s handiwork on my island, and as He continues to drape me in these treasures, all I had to do was notice Him.
There’s a familiar saying, “no man is an island” which I think I’ll re-write to say “no man is without an island.” All he has to do is set sail and discover it.