I have a confession. Today, I wanted very badly to steal something from an eight year old girl.
You see, we met her and her sister at the rock pools, where she promptly produced two huge, shiny perfect cowrie shells, stating she had found them ‘just over there’, precisely where we had been not half an hour before, claiming that it was slim pickings today.
I nearly snatched them out of her hand, and might have if I hadn’t seen her father in my peripheral vision…that and the fact that the rocks make a fast getaway for this 41 year not only highly unlikely but highly problematic too. Oh, and the fact that it would have been wrong.
Charli and I wandered on, despondent that we hadn’t found any such sea bounty. It began a much more thorough search as we seethed that this girl had so casually produced them, as though it were not amazing at all, and we had nothing to show for the crick in our necks and ache in our backs.
I roamed further toward where the sea crashed over the rocks, Charli not far behind. I found some unusual looking anenomes and was taking Charli back to see them when we noticed the crescent of a buried shell that looked rather big. “I bet it’s broken,” I said churlishly. As I pulled it out, it became clear it most certainly was not broken. And as I wrapped my hand underneath, it also became clear that it most certainly was still occupied.
As Charli ran to get Graham and Lily, I watched as it slowly started moving.
It was magnificent.
And you know what I realised anew in that moment?
Sometimes, we look at others, at what they have – their relationships, their jobs, their kids, their opportunities – and we want what they’ve got.
As badly as I wanted to find a huge cowrie shell, I’m so glad to have found this amazing creature and even though we couldn’t take it home, I wouldn’t swap what we saw with that eight year old girl any day.
And as much as I thought finding a cowrie like that would be the best thing ever, God had a different treasure in mind for us.
So often, God has something special for us, right when we need it, even if we are sulking and whingeing and ungrateful.
He’s good like that, isn’t He?
Oh and if anyone knows exactly what this sea creature is, I would love to know!