Oceans For Emotions: Sometimes best is not what we think it is

By Elaine Wheat
Feb. 8, 2013 at midnight
Updated Feb. 7, 2013 at 8:08 p.m.

"... seek, and ye shall find."

- Matthew 7:7

I took a little friend to the beach in order to have lessons about the waves and the ways of the ocean. I really learned a lot.

I think learning should be fun. That is why I taught for 52 years. Matt and I made up a game about who could find the best shell. Our game was called, "Who can find the best shell?" It did not require a computer or the Internet. All we had to do was split up, search the beach in two different directions and see who could come back with the best shell.

When I had found a 4-inch multicolored whelk shell, I knew I was the winner. I just sat on a tide ledge and waited for Matt to come back. I finally saw him struggling up the beach with his T-shirt loaded with shells. I wondered if he had gotten the wrong directions for the game.

It was supposed to be the best shell, not the most shells.

Matt brought the shells to me and dumped them down at my feet and then smiled up at me with a great, big, winning smile. Being the competitor that I am, who would even enjoy beating a 5-year-old, I held up my whelk shell and said, "I think I won."

His little face turned into a frown, and he pointed a sandy finger at me and declared, "Elaine, you said that the best shell would win. My oyster shells are the best shells or God would not have made so many of them. You said to find the best shell and I did."

Knowing that I had been beaten by a 5-year-old boy, I stomped up and down the beach kicking sand in my frustration to get rid of my anger. I thought about throwing my whelk shell as far as I could toward Cuba but decided to keep it.

I still have it to this day to remind me that just looking pretty does not always make one the best. In my condition and being 76 years old, if I hadn't learned that by now, I never would see the light of day again.

Dear Lord, help us to seek the eternal things in life: faith, hope and love.



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