The Reward for Surviving Rough Seas

The Reward for Surviving Rough Seas
We are all like sea shells tossed about in rough waters and being re-shaped in wondrous ways. But have you ever contemplated the notion that sea shells have to complete their journey through the rough waters before they get to rest on the shore? Yeah, we are ALL like sea shells and Heaven is The Great Shore.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sea Oats, Sand Dunes and Christians: A Correlation

Greetings Everybody,

Got up around 3 am this Sunday Morning with Asthma troubles.
Quietly left our bedroom and came into the den.
And in the course of using my inhaler, sipping coffee and wondering how long this particular asthma attack will last...I thought of the sea.

As I have mentioned before, I breathe better at the sea than anywhere else.
The sea winds blow FROM the ocean TO the shore and there is nothing POLLENATING out in that water.
When I am standing on a beach I can breathe so comfortably.
So, today during this asthma issue, it is natural for me to long to be at the Sea.

Anyway...sitting here thinking about the Sea got me thinking about a particular photo I took on the coast between Daytona and St. Augustine a short while ago.

Take a Look:

The sign in the photo says that it is unlawful to pick Sea Oats.

I actually took that photo because something about it triggered a thought in my mind. But I get ahead of myself, let's make sure everybody knows a bit about Sea Oats:

Sea Oats: A tall coastal grass (Uniola paniculata) of the southeast United States, Mexico, and the West Indies. (Definition courtesy of The American Heritage Dictionary)

I pulled some quotes about Sea Oats  from

(Please take a minute to Read Over the items below & then I'll share a couple of insights with you guys!  I promise this is actually headed somewhere and is not just Sea Oat Trivia lol )

-Sea oats are the most important and widespread grass on southern coastal dunes. 
-Drought resistant and immune to some fungus infections that plague other grasses, sea oats are especially hardy plants. 
-Referred to as pioneer species, sea oats (Uniola Paniculata) are very important plants along Georgia beaches because of their ability to trap wind-blown sand which in turn provides stability to sand dunes for plant colonization.
-Extensive root systems of the sea oats form a lattice-work that grows from the bottom of the dune stabilizing the loose sands of small and young and large and old dunes alike.
seaoats-Sand that collects around the plant stimulates plant growth. 
-The cycle of sand collection and plant growth facilitates expansion of both the sea oats and the sand dune. 
-If a sea oat is buried by sand, it develops vertical rhizomes (underground stems) which grow to the surface producing an offspring plant. 
-Primary dune systems that have been cut away by hurricanes reveal original clumps of sea oats in the dune profile with underground stems (rhizomes) and roots reaching up to 9 meters (30 feet) below the top of the dune. 
-The fibrous roots of these plants usually extend to the upper parts of the water table, some 12 meters (40 feet) below the dune’s peak in some places. The vertical taproot alone can grow up to 3.5 meters (12 feet).
-Complementing the network of roots underground, sea oat leaves and stems trap wind-blown sand, thus increasing the size of the dunes. 
-Dunes function as dikes against flooding from large ocean waves and as reservoirs of sand to seasonally replenish the beach. During hurricanes, sand dunes help reduce the energy of storm waves.
-Seedlings that have been covered by a moderate amount of sand grow more quickly than those that are left exposed. It is thought that the sheltering sand insulates the infant plant against too much heat and desiccation. 
-Because of their critical Importance in maintaining healthy sand dunes, sea oats are protected by law

The Sea Oats not only help protect the dunes, they help 
GROW the dunes. And the Dunes protect the coastline 
from erosion during  high winds, high tides, and times of 

So now that you're up to date on the Sea Oats topic
here's a question for you:

If SEA OATS, which DO NOT possess a moral or spiritual 
compass, somehow know to build intricate horizontal 
and vertical webs of support for themselves...then 
shouldn't humans who DO possess a moral and spiritual 
compass know to do this also?

Yet we don't.

We break all sorts of bonds.
We try to live without relying on others.
We withdraw, opt out, live alone, and spend less and less of our precious time in the presence of our loved ones and friends.
And we are surprised when the figurative  "floods" of life devastate us.

Sea Oats are only effective when they are Surrounded BY 
and Rely ON other Sea Oats.

Kinda makes for an AHA moment doesn't it.

Do you have a sudden desire to go see some people you 
haven't seen in a while?

Or maybe you need to give some hugs to the people 
down the hall in your own home?

Maybe there are some phone calls, or emails, or cards & 
letters you might need to write?

Obviously there are many lessons that can be drawn from idea of the Sea Oats and the Dunes.
Issues of Family and Community and yes THE CHURCH!

Christians, just like Sea Oats,  are supposed to be an 
intricate infrastructure designed to help SUPPORT, 

So...Back to the Original photo that said "It is Unlawful to Pick Sea Oats"
There's a reason for that Law....cause in certain areas of world, if the Sea Oats are destroyed the Beach is doomed.

The presence of the Sea Oats has been identified extremely important.
Their absence leads to destruction.
Their presence brings stability and security.
Sea Oats, just by the simple acts of daily living and quietly growing, lead lives of tremendous purpose.

Similarly, for Christians, the simple acts of daily living in His Will and quietly growing in Christ, lead to lives of tremendous Faith & Purpose.

Yeah, as it turns out, these Sea Oat plants are incredibly important to the Sand Dunes. And the Sand Dunes are incredibly important to prevent erosion & floods &  devastation of coastline & deterioration of ecosystems.  They are a pretty big deal. 

Yet for all of their importance...they don't brag, they don't call attention to 
themselves, they don't call a press conference about their good works...they just go 
quietly about their plant-lives seeking to SUPPORT, SUSTAIN, and STAND.

Here's another little AHA thought for ya...Ya know how
the Sea Oats just quietly do this really good work?

Well, Jesus pretty much told his followers to go about 
their good deeds in the same way.

"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before 
men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no 
reward from your Father in heaven." Matthew 6:1

Spiritual Lessons based on Sea Oats???   YUP! lol
In Him,

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