I am staring out the window of our room this evening and looking at the Pacific Ocean. I am the first one to tell you that I am an East Coast sort of guy. Frankly, I never have become used to the way that the water is to the west. Let me explain – Janet and I are from Chicago and for those of you who don’t know much about it – there is a north side, a south side and a west side – but just east of downtown is Lake Michigan. So those of us who are from Chicago just never think about anything but water out to the east side of the city.
Sure, you can go around the south side of the lake and head east to Indiana, but that’s not the same. East equals water – that’s all there is to it. The same thing goes for the east coast of Florida – where we have vacationed for many years. To the east of Ft. Lauderdale is water – the Atlantic Ocean. I can’t tell you how many sunrises I have seen come over the horizon as the water glistens in the early morning. And I’m not used to the sun setting over the water. I just can’t get accustomed to it – it just isn’t natural to me.
Even when we visit Naples, or any other west coast city in Florida, I long to be back in Ft. Lauderdale. Now I know that all this sounds a little strange, but habits are strong things – especially when they date back to your childhood.
Several years ago, Janet and I went on a cruise in Alaska. We flew into Anchorage and then flew up to Fairbanks. I remember landing in Anchorage after a very long flight from Indianapolis through Minneapolis. As we approached the airport, I could see the sun setting to the west, over the water. Once again, I couldn’t get used to it. That’s aside from the fact that the sun didn’t set until something like 2:00 am. That was weird also.
Suffice it to say that I have thought about this enough to let you know that I am convinced that even the water is different on the east coast. I like it that way. And even with Lake Michigan, I am here to tell you that I like Wisconsin better than northern Michigan. Want to know why? easy – water is to the east…..
Aside from my love of the east, and particularly the midwest, everything to the west is so far away. It took us a long time to fly to Anchorage. And Sunday, when we flew out here, we left our house at 9:30 am and arrived in our room in San Diego almost 12 hours later. That was after stopping in Dallas on the way here for a 3 hour lay-over. Whenever I fly out here, I have to deal with a time difference of 3 hours from Indy. I feel so far away, and out of the center of things.
Coming home will take another day out of our lives. It’s one of those all day trips. To really cap off how much I dislike heading to the west coast, I should let you know that I no longer have any California clients – I gave them all up. Just not worth it – too much hassle when travelling and too many days out of my life on a jet.
There is, however, an interesting verse of Scripture that lets us know how far the east is from the west. It’s in Psalm 103:12, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” That’s good news for all of us. Because God forgives us our transgressions and then separates us from them. The measurement used is the distance from the east to the west. That’s a long way; and I, for one, am glad that God sees it that way.
We tend to be sinful creatures and God knows our heart. To be willing to separate us from our missteps is something wonderful that a loving God does for us. My encouragement tonight is to let you know that God forgives our sins and then puts us back in community with Himself. My prayer is that you will always turn to God when you have done anything short of glorifying the God of the universe and that He will continue to keep Himself close to you all the days of your life.
So in the morning, I just have to remember that I may be a long way from home, but so are my sins. Have a great day in the Lord…