I heard there were sea turtles (honu) along the North Shore of Oahu where we were staying. Tim was headed back to the house, so I decided to walk along the beach and see if I could find any turtles swimming along the shore. I didn’t want to carry much with me, so I only kept my phone and shoes. I didn’t see any turtles and kept getting distracted by waves, people, rocks, and more. There’s something mesmerizing about walking along the shore. I soak up the sounds and scents. I enjoy the feeling of my feet in the damp sand and the water splashing my legs, and time simply seems to pass.
I was so distracted, I nearly tripped over a large sea turtle sunning on the beach!
Where’s the camera when I need it?
I don’t take many photos with my camera, but at least I had it with me. I snapped a few as the turtle pushed his way back into the water.
My photos turned out okay (I wasn’t as close as it appears, since I didn’t want to scare him). I was glad I at least had my camera, but I kept thinking, “Where’s my camera when I need it?!”
I watched the turtle swim away and continued down the beach. I’d had enough excitement for the day and returned to tell Tim of my adventures…and regret of not having the camera with me.
We returned to the beach the next day (with the camera) and saw many turtles…in the water. I enjoyed watching the turtles, but I couldn’t get great photos. Drat.
I returned a bit later, again with the camera. The sun was going down, and I snapped several photos of the gorgeous colors. I walked a short distance down the beach to take photos from a few different perspectives. Since I didn’t see any turtles, I might as well take photos of the available beauty.
As the sun disappeared, I turned around to return. After less than 20 steps, I saw a turtle close to the water not far from me. I quickly grabbed the camera and took several photos, but the lighting was wrong, and there wasn’t time for me to adjust. Before I could think through what I needed to do, the elusive turtle was swimming away. I missed it again!
As I shared my frustration with Tim, I realized I had seen two turtles on the shore and he hadn’t. I was focused on the image I hadn’t captured when I could have been focused on the experiences I’d had.
The next time I went to the beach, I decided to intentionally leave the camera behind.
Consider a time you’ve focused on what you missed. In the process, could you have missed out on something else you could have savored? Have you consequently added to the “missed out” list of an experience?
God blesses us. We often misdefine his blessings.
From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. (John 1:16)