Windows to a Better Place

I got to do what any good father loves to do if he has a son: spend a week an a half on a road trip.

With a professional conference to attend in California months ago I decided I would take him with me.

The photo album I created in Facebook is entitled “To the Beach and Back.” And that is exactly what we did: we drove south from Colorado to Moab and saw some amazing arches and then the world’s biggest hole in the ground, the Grand Canyon. We slept in a tent and cheap hotels going out and coming back (the hotel where the conference was neither cheap nor like a tent).

The Window Opens

The first moments we arrived on the beach were priceless. Newport Beach, like a lot of the beaches in the area, is huge with at least 300 yard to get to the water. Soft sand greets the bare feet and with bags or towels in hand, we trudged our way down. I trudged. Brandon ran. After he put his things down in the sand, he ran some more, sprinting down the sand and back toward the life guard stand then back down to the water.

Finally we each slowly made our way into the waves and after a few shocked moments of wading and cringing, took the plunge and didn’t look back (figuratively speaking — I kept eying our things to make sure they were safe and we hadn’t drifted too far). The water was perfect. The waves were perfect. The moment was perfect as the bright sun slowly floated toward the horizon in the late afternoon.

Except for the days we arrived and left, we made our way 40 minutes west to Newport Beach and played in the water and sand, returning to almost the same spot, depending on parking of course. Can I just say? There are too many people in Southern California! We had so much fun. Brandon especially said how much he loved body surfing, something I particularly enjoy as well because I grew up every summer doing it on the coast of Maine. A much loved childhood and adult simple pleasure of the beach.

The ocean, combined with my own childhood memories along with making new memories for my son created this wonderful window in time where we had a few days of just he and I in the car and on the beach.

The Window Closes

I enjoyed my window in time and inevitably it came: we had to leave. The conference over, we had to pack up and hit the road back to Colorado. The window had to close, because this life doesn’t offer a permanent and eternal window of pleasure, joy and bliss. He even said as we pulled into the driveway last night, “Dad I feel like that’s my home near the beach!” Oh how near to the truth are his words!

Those precious windows of time we experience, whether it be a vacation to the perfect destination, a simple meal with friends or the lavish Thanksgiving feast we Americans love with all the family — they all have one thing in common: they end. The moments in them are by definition the treasured times we humans are gifted with in this life. I hope when we find ourselves there we enjoy it, because I have often found myself anticipating the end before it ever arrives!

The Window that Never Closes

It’s clearly what we’ve been been given as human beings and which drives us to find those windows in time. We have in us deep-rooted and natural desires for something much more and much better than what we have. Those windows in time are but a faint echo of the eternal reality we crave and long for. And it’s out there waiting for us — the next life. The Restoration of all Things.

I said to Brandon

“I wonder if there’s a planet out there somewhere with nothing but perfect beaches and we can body surf for hours and days at a time, never having to worry about it coming to an end?”

Yes, I believe there are such places where the window doesn’t close. Do you?