Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Sea Lion...

"We were meant to live for so much more,
 but we lost ourselves..." Switchfoot

We're a bunch of networkers, aren't we? 
It comes naturally to us, we love to share our finds! 
Great restaurants we stumbled upon, 
great movies we saw, great books we devoured.

"Waking The Dead." "The Sacred Romance." "Desire."

These three books by John Eldredge have come 
more highly recommended by me
than any other to date.
My friends, family, and acquaintances alike 
have heard me rave time and again.
Those who've had the courage to dive in and read them,
have found them to be game changers, just as I found them to be.

This story below is special to me.
It's an excerpt from "Desire" by John Eldredge,
a true favorite of mine, as you already know,
and I discovered it during a time when I needed it most.
I hope it touches you, as it did me, but more than that,
I hope it awakens something deep within your heart,
something that stirs your inner man,
something that makes you feel compelled to rise to the occasion,
to live out your purpose, 
and be who you are destined to be.

Once upon a time there lived a sea lion who had lost the sea. He lived in a country known as the barren lands. High on a plateau, far from any coast, it was a place so dry and dusty that it could only be called a desert. A kind of course grass grew in patches here and there, and a few trees were scattered across the horizon. But mostly, it was dust. And sometimes the wind, which together made one very thirsty. Of course, it must seem strange to you that such a beautiful creature should wind up in a desert at all. He was, mind you, a sea lion. But things like this do happen.

How the sea lion came to the barren lands, no one could remember. It all seemed so very long ago, in fact, it appeared as though he had always been there. Not that he belonged in such an arid place. How could that be? He was, after all, a sea lion. But as you know, once you have lived so long in a certain spot, no matter how odd, you come to think of it as home.

There was a time, many years back, when the sea lion knew he was lost. In those days, he would stop every traveler he met to see if he might help him find his way back to the sea. But no one seemed to know the way.

On he searched, but never finding. After years without success, the sea lion took refuge beneath a solitary tree beside a very small water hole. The tree provided refuge from the burning rays of the sun., which was very fierce in that place. And the water hole, though small and muddy, was wet, in its own way. Here he settled down and got on as best he could. Had you journeyed in those days through the barren lands, you might have seen the sea lion for your self. Quite often in the evening, he would go and sit upon his favourite rock, a very large boulder, which lifted him off the burning sand and allowed him a view of the entire country.

There he would remain for hours into the night, silhouetted against the sky. And on the best of nights, when the wind shifted to the east, a faint smell of salt air would come to him on the breeze. Then he would close his eyes and imagine himself once more at the sea. When he lay himself down to sleep, he would dream of a vast, deep ocean. Twisting and turning, diving and twirling, he would swim and swim. When he woke, he thought he heard the sound of breakers.....

The sea was calling to him.

The sea lion loved his rock, and he even loved waiting night after night for the sea breezes that might come. Especially he loved the dreams those memories would stir. But as you well know, even the best of dreams cannot go on, and in the morning when the sea lion woke, he was still in the barren lands. Sometimes he would close his eyes and try to fall back asleep. It never seemed to work, for the sun was always very bright. 

Eventually, it became too much for him to bear. He began to visit his rock only on occasion. "I have too much too do," he told himself. "I cannot waste my time just idling about." He really did not have so much to do. The truth of it was, waking so far from home was such a disappointment, he did not want to have those wonderful dreams anymore. The day finally came when he stopped going to his rock altogether, and he no longer lifted his nose to the wind when the sea breezes blew.

The sea lion was not entirely alone in those parts. For it was there he met the tortoise. Now this tortoise was an ancient creature, so weathered by his life in the barren lands that at first, the sea lion mistook him for a rock. He told the tortoise of his plight, hoping that this wise one might be able to help him. "Perhaps," the tortoise mused, "this is the sea." His eyes appeared to be shut against the bright sun, but he was watching the sea lion very closely. The sea lion swept his flippers once against his side, gliding to end of the water hole and back. "I don't know," he said. "it isn't very deep." "Isn't it?" "Somehow, I thought the sea would be broader, deeper. At least, I hoped so."

"You must learn to be happy here," the tortoise told him one day. "For it is unlikely you shall ever find this sea of yours." Deep in his old shriveled heart, the tortoise envied the sea lion and his sea. “But I belong the sea. We are made for each other." 

"Perhaps. But you have been gone so long now, the sea has probably forgotten you."This thought had never occurred to the sea lion. But it was true, he had been gone for a long, long time. "If this is not my home, how can I ever feel at home here?" the sea lion asked. "You will, in time." The tortoise appeared to be squinting, his eyes a thin slit. "I have seen the sea, and it is no better than what you have found here." "You have seen the sea!" "yes. Come closer," whispered the tortoise, "and I will tell you a secret. I am not a tortoise. I am a sea turtle. But I left the sea of my own accord, many years ago, in search of better things. If you stay with me, I will tell you stories of my adventures."

The stories of the ancient tortoise were enchanting and soon cast their spell upon the sea lion. As weeks passed into months, his memory of the sea faded. "The desert," whispered the tortoise, "is all that is, or was, or will ever be." When the sun grew fierce and burned his skin, the sea lion would hide in the shade of the tree, listening to the tales woven by the tortoise. When the dry winds cracked his flippers and filled his eyes with dust, the sea lion would retreat to the water hole. And so the sea lion remained, living his days between water hole and tree. 

The sea no longer filled his dreams.

It was that May that the winds began to blow. The sea lion had grown used to the wind, and at first he did not pay much heed at all. Years of desert life had taught him to turn his back in the direction from which the wind came and cover his eyes with his flippers, so that the dust would not get in. Eventually the winds would always pass. But not this time. Day and night it came, howling across the barren lands. There was nothing to stop its fury, nothing to even slow it down. For forty days and forty nights the wind blew. And then, just as suddenly as it begun, it stopped. The sea lion lifted himself to have a look around. He could hardly believe his eyes.

Every single leaf had been stripped from his tree. The branches that had remained, with only a twig or two upon them, looked like an old scarecrow. And I do not need to tell you that there was no longer any shade in which to hide. But worse than this, much worse indeed, was what the sea lion saw next. The water hole was completely dry.

Three weeks after the wind ceased to blow, the sea lion had a dream. Now, as I told you before, there were nights in which he had dreamed of the sea. But those were long ago and nearly forgotten. Even still, the ocean that filled his dreams this night was so beautiful and clear, so vast and deep, it was as if he was seeing it for the very first time. The sunlight glittered on its surface, and as he dived, the waters all around him shone like an emerald. I he swam quite deep, it turned to jade, cool dark and mysterious. But he was never frightened, not at all. For I must tell you that in all his dreams of the sea, he had never before found himself in the company of other sea lions. This night there were many, round about him, diving and turning, spinning and twirling. They were playing.

Oh, how he hated to wake from that wonderful dream. The tears running down his face were the first wet thing he had felt in three weeks. But he did not pause even to wipe them away, he did not pause, in fact, for anything at all. He set his face to the east, and began to walk the best a sea lion can.

"Where are you going?" asked the tortoise.

"I am going to find the sea!"

Sweet Bellas, have you, too, lost your way?  
It's easy to get off track, isn't it? 
Where have you settled?
Can you hear your calling in the late hours of night,
 can you feel the longing? 
Are there voices in your life discouraging you? 
Misery does love company after all...
The question is, what are you going to do about it?
Right here, right now?
Will you return to the sea?


  1. What a wonderful parable! I've never read it before and I was enchanted. I always keep my eyes to the Living Water, my friend. But you already knew that. :)

    1. I love that you love it!! I loved how layered it is. There's an immediate truth and application while at the same time telling of a much bigger must read his books!

  2. Sigh!!! It moved me deeply the first time I read the book and it moves me again and again and right now. You're has layers...depth beyond description. Our hearts and souls have depth beyond description which "desire" to hear. If we listen to the words...let the words speak to us...we will come alive!!! This book IS a must read!!! Along with John Eldrege's others! :) I love being on this journey with you Bella! xo

  3. I'm going to be sure and read those by this summer. I've been more focused than ever to be sure I don't forget where it is I want to be. It is very easy to settle and not let the waves just take you adrift. Keep heading towards your desire and you will surely reach it. Hugs to you and the family.

  4. What a wonderful parable. Thank you for taking the time to share it with remind us to stay true to our hearts and not settle for being swept out. You always make me slow down and remember what is truly important. Hugs and love.

  5. What an inspirational message, my sweet friend. Sometimes with the hustle and bustle of life, you need to focus on what we're doing and why! I always feel so blessed to stop by and absorb some of your wisdom. xo

  6. Sweet bella...first and foremost, I apologize for taking such a long time to comment back to you, after you have left such beautiful and kind comments. I did, and do miss you as well, and now that I have read your most inspiring post, I do feel very connected to 'losing my way' for the last few months. It does take time for 'healing' and overcoming sorrow and gradually I have returned to finding my way back.

    We must focus on not being trapped in the past...focusing on the future, knowing that God has great things in store for us. We may not know the answer but that doesn't mean that the answer does not exist.I learned an important rule which I have always known in the past that not being able to change things in life should not keep me from being happy...just have to focus on things that I can change.

    Bella, you have carefully chose a beautiful quotation, a lyric from a beautiful song by 'Switchfoot' (Christian Band)...but did you also know that the lyrics was inspired by the famous poem by T.S. Eliot 'The Hollow Men'? It is about the superficial sense of the world, and how everyone is so 'hollow'...shallow. So befitting with the song, "we were meant for so much more, but we lost ourselves"

    I am now, ordering the awesome book Desire, by John Eldredge from Amazon, I'm so, so excited to read it, and thanks so much for your recommendation.

    BTW- I found a quotation on Desire by John Eldredge; incredibly touching; as a matter of fact you yourself have risen to the occasion and are living out your purpose what you are destined for.

    here's the quotation by; John Eldredge-Desire
    We abandon the most important journey of our lives when we abandon desire. We leave our hearts by the side of the road and head off in the direction of fitting in, getting by, being productive, what have you. Whatever we might gain--money, position, the approval of others, or just absence of the discontent itself--it's not worth it.
    Sending you and your beautiful family my love, xoxo

  7. I'm definitely reading those books. Thank you for sharing them with me and for always being such a blessing to my life. Much love <3

  8. Very interesting. Actually has me longing for a home (a town) I left years ago and long to return to one day. years away, and I still have not forgotten. Good parable.



Share |
Related Posts with Thumbnails