A Theology of the Beach

The Beach as Therapy

There is now scientific proof of something we have almost all sensed and known to be true – that there is something naturally therapeutic about the beach! Oh yes – here’s a topic that will preach! Eric Boutieller will shout an ecstatic “amen” to this one … he LOVES the beach! (I think it has something to do with the sun shining on his head!)

There was a research study done in Europe with 2750 people which found that time spent near the seaside – regardless of the weather – was better for emotional and physical health than time spent at any other place of leisure, such as a park. Some scientists speculate that the atmospheric turbulence caused by breaking waves releases charged ions into the air … producing mood boosting endorphins and serotonin – hormones that cause a sense of well-being. The same thing we know to be true of a good, hearty laugh, and even the Scriptures support such (Proverbs 17:22).

Could we find the same support for the beach?

The only three occasions of the word “beach” being used in the Bible are in the accounts of Paul’s journeys in the book of Acts – so not much to go on there. How about the word “waves?”  It is actually used 29 times, although to be honest, most of those occurrences present a concept of tumult, disarray, danger, and the angry power of nature.

But there is one very positive usage of “waves” as illustrating well-being … even though it is in the context of a rebuke of the nation of Israel for not trusting God and obeying Him. It says in Isaiah 48:17-18 “This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.”  

Well… that’s good enough for me to build a “beach theology!”  It is God’s will for us to spend time on the beach – the Bible as much as says so! Right?

So … I’m going to go for a couple of days of biblically-based well-being next week!

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