Lover’s Beach (Staring Down the Barrel of a Machine Gun)

Posted on February 11, 2014

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Staring down the barrel of a machine gun was not quite the way I had imagined our romantic drive to Lover’s Beach. But that’s exactly where my new bride, Dara, and I found ourselves lost as a ball in high weeds on the fourth day of our marriage.

Twenty minutes earlier, the concierge at our honeymoon resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico had given us detailed instructions to this intimate locale that we had heard about from some locals. The only problem was that these instructions were given in Spanish. This story is for another day, but I famously (infamously?) scored an 18% on my final exam during my sophomore year at Lake Brantley High School in Altamonte Springs, FL.

We hopped in our rented Jeep Wrangler (my dream car), took the top down and began to explore. We held hands, laughed and drank deep of the blue skies and bright sunshine that created the perfect landscape for this memorable moment. This was our day to experience all that the mainstream tourists would never see due to their lack of adventure.  

We came to a crossroad in the middle of town. It looked nothing like our limited Spanish vocabulary had interpreted. Dara was convinced we were to turn left. I was convinced we were to turn right. Like any good husband trying to figure out how to be a good husband, I decided that we would turn right.

The asphalt turned to gravel and then the gravel turned to dirt. We were well on our way to making memories that would cement my win for husband of the week the first week on the job. Our all-terrain dream vehicle was made for this tree-lined dirt path. Everything was perfectly falling into place.

An unexpected addition to our secluded moment was the multi-million dollar leer jets that kept flying in overhead, landing just over the tree line. In the distance, we could see on opening that looked like our parking area. As we approached, to our surprise, two men dressed in camouflage were pointing machine guns directly at our foreheads while screaming at the top of their lungs.

With visions of losing husband of the week racing through my head, I pulled the emergency brake and turned the wheel hard left. A cloud of dust acted as our cover as I pulled off the best one hundred eighty degree turns of my life. I slammed on the gas, never looking back to ever figure out why Lover’s Beach was actually a machine-gun-protected, luxury jet airstrip.  

We never found Lover’s Beach. But we did rack up an unforgettable memory as both of us made it out of that day alive. I learned that day that everything I say may not always be right. Over the course of my eleven years of marriage, turns out I have had to learn that lesson over and again.

These memories came flooding back today as I was reading Proverbs 8. Wisdom is personified in this book of the Bible, and she spends her time calling out to anyone that will listen. She calls out from the rooftops, at the entrance to the gates of a city and positions herself conspicuously at the crossroads of well traveled roads. She wants to be heard. She longs for us to listen. Verse six struck me with such simplicity and direct challenge:

Listen to me! For I have important things to tell you. Everything I say is right…
(Proverbs 6:6 NLT)

As I proved on the fourth day of my marriage (and many days following), I need wisdom. And Wisdom calls out in this passage from anywhere that may get my attention. Turns out that I need to pay careful attention to the first words of this verse to ever hear the perfect direction of God: LISTEN TO ME!

My prayer is that you and I would find the courage to listen and respond to the voice of Wisdom as she calls out. Break away. Find stillness and silence. Find rest. And allow the voice of wisdom to lead and guide you.

You may not like the answers you get, but the promise is that Wisdom only leads to life and health.  Instead of staring down the barrel of a machine gun, you will successfully find the moments of intimacy that you were aiming for in the first place.

My advice is wholesome. There is nothing devious or crooked in it.
My words are plain to anyone with understanding, 
clear to those with knowledge.
(Proverbs 6:8-9)

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