Friday, September 30, 2016

On the Boardwalk


Romans 7:19-20
For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do - this I keep on doing.  Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

Our mission:  As stewards of Jekyll Island's past, present and future, we're dedicated to maintaining the delicate balance between nature and humankind.  ~Jekyll Island Authority

On two of the mornings during our stay at Jekyll Island, my husband, Danny, slips out of our room before dawn so he can capture the sunrise.


He runs into two women doing the same thing on that first morning.  A conversation ensues, and Danny learns the women are visiting the United States from Holland.

Danny, having lived in this part of the country much of his life, gives them some ecological history concerning the preservation of the stunning sand dunes and the endangered vegetation they support.


This is precisely why the Jekyll Island Authority, a board of governor-appointed officials, have had numerous boardwalks, like this one,


built as walkways from the dune's inception to where they meet the smooth, flat sands of the shore.



The women seem appreciative of and impressed by the information Danny discloses.

So imagine his dismay on the second morning of his sunrise shoot when he sees this!


Yep!  There's one of those women, as big as life, standing boldly and brashly where no human foot is meant to trod.  So, of course, Danny couldn't resist snapping the picture and adding the accusatory caption.

What is her motivation, I wonder, in going against the grain?  Breaking the rules?

Does she see herself as the exception?  Someone who surely couldn't cause any lasting damage to these majestic dunes?  "After all," does she rationalize, "What difference will my few footprints make?"

And I am reminded of Paul's lament, quoted above:  For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do - this I keep on doing.  If we are honest with ourselves, haven't we all been on that proverbial sand dune at one time or another in our lives?  We know what we are doing is wrong, but that temptation - oh, how impossible it is to resist!

Unless, of course, we temper temptation with sincere prayer; for God alone, at our moments of weakness, when our inherently sinful natures are determined to get the best of us, can correct our paths and give us the strength to do what is right in His eyes.

Maybe, had this woman done just that when the dune sirens beckoned, she would have stayed the boardwalk's course.

And by doing so, honor God's magnificent creation.

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. ~Genesis 1:31a

Amen!

10 comments:

  1. Hi Martha! I am always surprised by people who think rules don't apply to them. And after your husband spoke to them about the dune and nature too...
    Why is this place called Jekyll Island? My mind goes to Jekyll and Hyde, so I wonder if it has anything to do with that story.
    Again, beautiful photos. May our nature surroundings be protected by better human behavior and thought. We must be gentle with our earth.
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. It's interesting that you ask about the origin of the name, Ceil. General James Oglethorpe, who founded the first colonies in Georgia, named the island after his friend and benefactor, Sir Joseph Jekyll. So there you have it!
      And yes, it never ceases to amaze me how many people think the rules were made for others, not for them. Sadly, I think that mindset is a product of our secular culture, and the proliferation of public figures who seem to get away with breaking the laws. Just does not make for a healthy atmosphere.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. Ack!!! I am sorry to see this as well, and wonder if I would have tried to do the same thing...sometimes I get so caught up in what I am looking at and trying to capture in a photo that I forget where I am and what I should/should not be doing. Thank you for this reminder to be more conscious of where we tread. Beautiful photos, by the way. Such a serene place.

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    1. Being an avid photographer, Pamela, you make a great observation here. Often, the subject of our camera may so fascinate us that we momentarily forget where we are and what we're doing. And when we take our focus off of God, that's when those sins, big and small, take the opportunity to sneak in.
      And thanks for complimenting the photos; hubby took most, but I took two. :)
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Martha, your Scripture selection for this post works well. It's so easy to not do what we know we should do--sin. Sin is simply so very ugly! It's interesting when people think certain rules don't apply to them. (The photos are amazing!)

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Yes, Kim, as Christians, we know how we should be living our lives, but those icky sins still clamor for our attention, don't they? Paul was spot on!
      Glad you liked the photos, too!
      Love and blessings!

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  4. Martha, A great illustration of what happens when we get distracted and take our focus off of God. We can get so disillusioned into believing that we can even make our own rules. But sin has its ripple effects on us and those around us.
    Beautiful pictures!

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    1. Yes, Beckie, sin truly does have a ripple effect, and that is never good. May we all stay focused on God's will for us and pray for Him to keep us on the right paths.
      Glad you enjoyed the photos, too!
      Love and blessings!

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  5. I have pondered these verses a lot this year. Lamented at my own stubborness and hard-heartedness. Lately the Lord has put some obstacles in my life to show me just how stubborn I've been in not obeying His words to me. Thank you for this reminder today, Martha. :-)

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    1. Oh, Marcie, I'm so glad this post spoke to you in such a meaningful way. And you're so right - God will definitely let us know when we're headed in the wrong direction. I always try to remember that He corrects us, disciplines us, as a loving father does his child. He never wants to hurt us; He always wants what's best.
      Love and blessings!

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