I was having a conversation with my son the other day.
We like to talk about life and faith.
He's wise, that young man. I'd love to say that he got his wisdom from his mother. But, since most of you know quite a bit about that mother, you know that can't be true!!
This day we were discussing some of the many trials that arise in life. How sometimes the narrow way is fraught with confusion. How it’s difficult to stand strong, let alone stand firm. How following Jesus is sometimes daunting – (cross-carrying costs something…)
He asked me a rhetorical question –
"What can we do about it, Mom?"
I told him – "Hold fast."
All of a sudden, I was reminded of something that happened when "The Hub" and I visited my brother a couple of weeks ago. He lives by the ocean. We ate at a restaurant on the San Clemente pier. I had the most delicious salmon fillet. And I've got to tell you, a piece of fish never tastes better than when you eat it outdoors in the ocean breeze.
After eating, we walked along the beach.
I collected rocks.
(Oh, the joy of my rocks!)
The beach was littered with giant strands of kelp. (Kelp trivia – I like stepping on the little *bulbs* that are connected to the stalks. They make a really fun "POP" sound – like my knees). Evidently, a recent storm had churned up the kelp beds laying a few hundred yards offshore.
My brother told us that those kelp beds were artificial – (not the kelp!)
Here's the backstory on that (from 2008):
"SAN CLEMENTE – State and utility officials applauded the completion yesterday of the world’s first artificial kelp reef, which they say will provide a thriving habitat for fish and marine organisms for decades.
Spread over two miles south of San Clemente Pier, the pioneering reef was undertaken by Southern California Edison to make up for environmental damage caused by the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. (Editorial opinion here: Boo, San Onofre!! The damage wasn't radioactive, by the way, or I would glow in the dark...)
The 175-acre reef was constructed by dumping 120,000 tons of rock ranging from the size of a soccer ball to a miniature refrigerator in a patchwork over an area about 1 mile by 2½ miles, at a depth of 30 feet to 50 feet.
David Kay, Southern California Edison’s manager of environmental projects, said the rocks must be large enough to anchor the kelp, which are algae that can grow 1½ to 2 feet a day to a length of 120 feet.
Some of the rocks have to be light enough so the ocean can toss them about, to shake off organisms that crowd out the kelp.
The reef will add marine habitat to the Southern California coast by nourishing as many as 50 varieties of fish and invertebrates.
The reef is named for the late Wheeler North, a California Institute of Technology scientist and kelp researcher."
I find this information fascinating, by the way.
So, as we're walking along the beach, we came upon a HUGE piece of kelp. It had to have been at least 20 feet long. And attached at the bottom of this kelp was a huge clump of…well, for lack of a better word…clump. A thick, roundish, glob of tiny intertwined tubes of seaweed. It looked like the aquatic version of a massive root system.
My brother said to me, "You know what they call that, don't you?"
"They call it the holdfast."
I googled it as soon as I got home.
"A holdfast is a root-like structure that anchors aquatic organisms, such as seaweed. Holdfasts vary in shape and form – often having complex tangles of root-like growths. The holdfasts of organisms that live on smooth surfaces (such as the surface of a boulder) have the base of the holdfast literally glued to the surface."
Light bulb moment.
Yes, you see it too, don't you?
When I told my son to "Hold fast" – all of a sudden, I saw the spiritual lesson found in God's creation.
Each of us is like a piece of kelp. And we must *hold fast* to the rock – The Rock – which anchors us against the storms and currents of life. Just as the kelp is moved and jostled and sometimes thrashed by the motion of the sea, we are tossed and turned by circumstances too. But just like the kelp, firmly anchored by its holdfast, we are firmly held in place.
We are literally glued to the Lord.
Come what may – we "go with the flow" – buffeted perhaps by the stormy waves, but never loosened from our connection to the Rock that holds us.
We will never be swept away.
Hold fast, dear friends, hold fast.
How do you hold fast to the Lord when the narrow way gets a little stormy?
I'm linking up with Joan - it's a great day to be SHARING HIS BEAUTY!
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"