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News from November 2015

The Seagull and the Starfish

November 30, 2015

It’s Sunday morning in Vancouver BC and my goal today is simply to rest. I am not feeling 100% this morning, slightly anxious over a few things and just plain tired from being on the road for over 3 months on tour. Taking a break on Sunday morning is not easy, to be honest, it is hard for me to do because essentially for the last 9 years of full-time touring…this is what I do. But today I felt God say to do nothing but rest. Rest my mind, rest my body, rest my soul. So with my wife in a conference, my kids at home with my parents, this is what I set out to do. I am sure what I am about to tell you was meant for me but maybe in someway what I am about to say God wants to use to speak to you as well…so it is for this reason that I share it in my blog post today.

I slept in this morning on purpose. Got a great cappuccino from a local coffee shop and drove over to Stanley Park in Vancouver. For those who do not know of Stanley Park, you need to either go there at some point in life or at least google it. Gorgeous. I drove most of the way around the park, looking at the ocean, the massive trees and taking in the greenness of the park (singing along the way to an old Bob Fitts CD).

As I got about ¾ of the way around the park I parked my car and to walk down to the beaches. The tide was out so I started to walk out as far as I could on a little jetty. As I walked out, I slipped a few times as the seaweed covered rocks were slick and I reminded myself I should probably slow down or I might end up in the ocean and not just watching it. As I got out about as far as I could go I sensed God say, just stop and rest and see what you see. This is what happened next.

I looked beside me in the water and there was a white Seagull sitting on a rock in the ocean maybe 15 feet away. All of a sudden he jumped off the rock and dove head first into the water. When he came up, I fully expected to see a fish in his mouth – but it wasn’t. To my surprise it was a starfish. A large one. I climbed up and sat on a rock as I watched what was to unfold.

This starfish was large and heavy and the seagull had nowhere to put the starfish except try to carry it over to where I was sitting. It dragged it through the water over to a rock 10 feet away from me. Then as quickly as it put it down on the rock, it flew back into the water and started to swim away. I thought this was such a strange thing that he would go to all this trouble to dive down, catch the starfish, swim it over (dropping it a few times along the way) and then place it on a rock close to a human, only to swim away.

After a minute had passed a second gull flew over and stood beside the starfish. This gull was speckled and almost dirty looking compared to the first gull who found the starfish. The first gull was close by but didn’t get mad or come back to defend its property. It merely allowed the other gull to start pecking away at its find. I watched closer and wondered what to make of this odd occurrence because I have never seen one seagull give its food willingly to another. While the first gull swam a close distance away the second seagull worked to try to get some nourishment from the starfish – first pecking away on the top of the starfish. It didn’t seem to get enough, so it seemed to give up and hopped in the water and started to swim away. Then it turned around and swam back up on the rock and had a second go at it. It turned the starfish over and again tried to peck it’s way at the underside of the starfish. Again it didn’t seem to get anywhere and after a few minutes….the seagull hopped in the water and swam away. It came back a third time and with one last attempt tried to get some food to eat, but seemed that it was just not easy to do and so it hopped in the water, swam away and left the starfish lying on the rock.

As I watched this unfold I asked God, is there something you are trying to tell me this morning? What I sensed God say was that He was the first gull and I was the second gull. He has given and provided everything that I need to make it through today and that He is my all sufficient King. The starfish is like His words in the Bible. He is sufficient for me today and He is everything I need for today – but will I take the time to really work at hearing His voice, reading His voice in the Bible and absorbing it. As I walked back to the walkway I sat down on a bench I opened up my Bible I turned to these words:

“When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” Psalm 94:18–19

May I realize as I rest in your presence today, Lord, that you are all I need. Everything I need is found in you, Lord.