I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Life's flotsam and jetsam

A recent blog from Israel was titled, “Ride the waves home," and that applies to life and writing. The author wrote that nothing can threaten a person’s bond with God more than going through a tragedy that may drive us further from Him, but that sometimes enduring hard times is the very thing that carries us home to Him.

There’s truth to that analogy. Rip tides sweep objects and lives away from shore. And things drift far in deep mid-ocean. But because of earth’s spin, waves eventually bring objects home to nearest westward coasts.

A recent wonderful visit with my siblings on Oregon’s Coast underlined this when we saw items not there on any previous visits. Large black barrels stood along shore to collect debris beachcombers are finding that’s just arriving from Japan’s March 11, 2011 Fukushima event. Those containers added glowing radioactive reality to what had been simple barefoot beach strolls before.

The stuff washing in is called flotsam or jetsam. Flotsam is wreckage or cargo afloat after ships sink. Jetsam is unwanted goods thrown overboard and washed ashore, especially material discarded to lighten vessels. Everything wrecked or cast aside eventually reaches shore to be re-evaluated and kept. Or tossed aside forever, and both terms apply to life and characters in fiction.

If we let go of things we should have held onto, God gives fresh opportunity to find its use now. If damaging old habits wash in and reappear, His black barrels are there to receive debris and take it away.

What about you? What have waves brought home that you once discarded but find valuable now? Or what had wrecked and sunk that you’re thrilled to rediscover and incorporate into life now?


  1. Wow, you've made me think! I think having a near miss with death, made me value my precious family all the more! They are so precious, and each moment with them is treasured!

  2. Absolutely, and they cherish you, and we are warmed by your family relationships.
    I was way out of pocket in extreme northern MN today & just got internet access now at nearly 10 p.m. Thanks for commenting.

  3. While I've always valued family, this year I've come to value it more than I ever have. Since Sunday night, our whole town has been praying for a 17 year-old boy who was thrown from a Jeep when it overturned. While he talked with paramedics right after the accident, he's been unconscious ever since. Life can change on a dime.

  4. Thanks Delores for the post. I, too, have valued my family. We have a very dear family friend who is battling some wicked cancer. It makes me really think about using my time wisely. It is a gift...time. We so carelessly misuse it. So many, right now our dear friend, would love to be able to walk 4 miles briskly or feast on a delicious meal...we take so much for granted. I think , and hope, I never lose sight of this gained perspective of time. Blessings Delores.

  5. I appreciate all of the comments, and am sorry for both situations described. They are also blessed to have your love and supporting friendship.