In a recent conversation I used the pier at Southwold as an illustration. I later shared the same illustration in church.
Many of us are familiar with Southwold pier. It is a typical seaside town pier with the usual attractions. It has amusement arcades at its entrance, a restaurant, coffee shop and somewhere to buy souvenirs and ice creams. It also has wonky mirrors and a water feature. At the end of the pier it opens out and there is room to fish. It has charm and appeal whatever the weather. On a bright sunny day the views of the beach and town, with the lighthouse in the background, are stunning. It also can be an invigorating experience during the winter.
If we liken our journey with Lord to a walk around the pier, we come to an interesting conclusion. I believe the Lord calls us to place where we rely on Him. We are so used to going through life, making it work and even enduring it. We rely on our own abilities to survive and make the best of our circumstances. This is rather like going from one place to another as we walk along the pier. Sometimes we face adverse weather, other times we enjoy things along the way. The Lord desires to have us, His interest is in our heart’s. I believe He calls us out to the end of the pier, to face the sea and to step out into the unknown. There is a well-known song sung in churches called 'Oceans' by Hillsong United. The opening line says ‘You call me out upon the waters, the great unknown where feet may fail.’ This is not a physical journey, as I don’t recommend anyone to walk off the end of the pier. However, it is a recognisable state within those who claim to follow God. Out of His love for us He brings us to a place of trust in Him. This often means the things in life that we have built or the areas we cling to as a part of our identity are left behind. Things rarely go the way we plan them. God has a way of bringing us back to that same point, stood looking out to sea waiting to step into His ways and not our own. Sadly, we too often take matters into our own hands. We head off back down the pier in pursuit of what we think need and what we think we should be doing. We waste time and go in circles until He brings us back. Stand still at the end of the pier and wait for Him!