The Shoreline by Emily Halstead


For everyone still standing at the shoreline, come.

Let that line sink in for a second. Picture yourself standing at a shoreline, looking out into the water. A boat is in front of you, floating a slight distance away and bobbing on the calm and peaceful waves. The boat is close enough that you can see a man standing, speaking out to yourself and the others on the shore.  He invites you. And you stand on the shore. Watching.    Just standing.    And watching.

Just let that image stay with you for a minute.

The new school year is now fully rolling here at YHC, and to me it finally feels like we are settling into a routine. Classes are moving, student orgs are up and running, res hall rooms are decorated, and we know to expect fried chicken in the dining hall each Wednesday.  Oh, that beautiful feeling of a simple routine.  Yet despite that comfortable routine that’s unfolding as each week passes, this point early in the semester still carries a certain feeling of anticipation—a feeling that you can still don’t know exactly what the year will hold.  A feeling of unease. A feeling of opportunity, yet a feeling of uncertainty.

To me, this moment in time feels a tipping point. We are standing on a shoreline, invited to come forward to something new.

And we stand.

And we watch.

And we face the decision of whether to partake in the water or embrace the comfort of the shoreline.

I believe that each of us is always standing on a shoreline, on the edge of growing closer to the person God is calling us to be. Times such as this, early in the semester—when we are caught somewhere between a new routine and a feeling of “anything can happen”—provide us with a prime opportunity to pause and contemplate exactly how God is calling us.

How is God calling you? It’s still just the beginning of a new year, after all. Is now the time for you to make something new of your academic career? Is now the time for you to serve others in a way you have not before? Is now the time for you to deepen certain relationships? Is now the time for you to enrich your prayer life? Is now the time for you to offer forgiveness? Is now the time to live with joy? Is now the time to live with faith? Is now the time for you to love in new ways?

A new school year brings the opportunity for you to create your new experiences, set your own goals, and to decide what your routine will be. How is God calling you to become the person you were made to be?

The line at the beginning of this blog post is taken from one of my favorite songs, “The Spirit and the Bride” by Matt Maher. The song reminds us of the fact that each and every one of us is always called by a loving God to step off the shoreline and join Him on the water.

For all the thirsty in need of the river,

For all the sleeping hearts waking from their slumber,

For everyone still standing at the shoreline, come.

So join me again in returning to our original visual—you are standing at the shoreline. Standing. And watching. Looking at that boat as it bobs on the small waves.  And then you hear a call: “Come.”

How will you respond?


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