Discovering the Way at Low Tide

Battery Point Light in Crescent City was one of the first lighthouses on the California coast. Built on a tiny islet, it can only be visited during low tide when the isthmus connecting the lighthouse to the mainland becomes visible. Except for a period of 17 years, it has illuminated and provided aid to navigation since 1856.

Lighthouses have always represented hope and the ability to find one’s way in a difficult situation. They shine in the darkness and help us discover the path to safety. I have always loved that symbolism.

As I walked along the beach to photograph this one, I passed the isthmus, now covered in water and waves. I could see the road up to the back of the lighthouse but trying to get there with the current high tide was not an option. Sadly, we missed our opportunity to tour the lighthouse and the museum. We would have thoroughly enjoyed exploring this historical landmark, meeting the current volunteer Keepers, climbing the tower and marveling in the magnificent view…but we just couldn’t get there yet.

Even as I was taking this picture, I felt the magnitude and the meaning of the benefit of low tide in finding the way to where you need to go. I’ve ruminated on this for weeks as it has related to looking back on my life, and the times I have learned that which I value the most.

I think sometimes we get so busy and caught up in our fast paced world that we get swept along in currents that take us to places we never intended to be. Waves of public opinion that push and pull and threaten to separate us from our desired destination happen all too often. Before we know it, months have passed us by and we are still feeling tossed and turned and perhaps a bit unable to find sure footing, slipping and sliding on unnoticed obstacles.

Then something happens: A loss of highest proportion, a change in status, a crippling disappointment, a sadness that makes it hard to breathe. Sometimes we see them coming but mostly they catch us unawares.

Times such as these reveal what is truly important to us. All the extraneous busyness seems to vanish and by instinct we rearrange our priorities and cling to that which matters most: Family. 

Life was never meant to always be still. Everything ebbs and flows and change is constant. Just as low tides reveal that which was hidden, I’ve decided that the ‘low tides’ in my life have pointed me in directions I needed to travel but couldn’t see before through all the noise of the world.

I don’t believe that God makes them happen, these times that try and test and bend us. We live in a world where choice is valued… and exercised!  I do believe that He allows these things to happen for reasons that are beyond my understanding, but certainly not His. And true to His promise, He hasn’t left us adrift without hope or direction or light. Boyd K. Packer tells us that:

No message appears in scripture more times, in more ways than, 'Ask, and ye shall receive'. Click To Tweet