College Writing II, Feb. 25, 1999
The best sermon I have ever seen was not issued from the mouth of a human. It was not spoken in the dusty caverns of the holy houses. It was not chanted by the learned priests in temples far to the east. No simple human voice could reach it’s complexity or awe. The sermon that I saw came from the thunder of the ocean. I had traveled far to see the spectacle of the water that blankets the earth. Many had told me of the change that seeing the ocean and hearing the waves could cause in a person. I was skeptical about this marvel and was therefore unprepared for the impact it would have on me.
I sat rapt watching the waves beat their hymn upon the sandy beach. I became entranced by the hypnotic rhythm of the tidal drums. My will drained away from me and I could not move but to scan the shore and the horizon and to follow the mighty currents flowing endlessly to the beach. All that had been so massive and immense before seemed to dwindle when compared with the vastness of the ocean. It was then that I finally understood the meaning of the word awesome. What more would be revealed to me if I but sat and drank in the movement of the sea?
In what ancient tongue was the ethereal sermon spoken? What was the ocean’s message? Preaching life and eternity it was. Speaking and singing of all that has meaning in this world and the next. Life seemed to be a recurring theme that echoed out of the deeps. Life, a never-ending circle that should be respected by all that participate. This wisdom sank in as I realized its simple truth. If all that lived respected all that lived, pain and strife would diminish and life would flourish.
I listened to the sermon for long hours. The day melted away and was gone as soon as it began, or so it seemed. Every crash of the waves was echoed by the beating of my heart. Those unspoken words rang into me, into me, into me. My soul shook with their utterance.