Island Life | Anna Willis
Island life is good for the soul. The island life I speak about is not popular Key West, Florida, or the swanky Bahama stays that newlywed couples stay at for their honeymoon, but the island life I refer to is that of Eleuthera, Bahamas. The entirety of the month of January will be spent, alongside local missionaries, and with our team of 28 people from Branson, Missouri, serving here on this island. We have been here but 3 days and I have already begun to realize something. The goodness of the island life that I have found to be so good for my soul and spirit comes, not from relaxing on the beach, or the sun rays that pelt our skin, or even the yummy food that we enjoy each night. Rather, island life is good for the soul because of the simplicity that is offered. I keep coming back to the simplicity, the utter stillness of it all, the perpetual peacefulness, and the seizing of every moment. Being here represents an array of things; things such as: separation, recognition, self-awareness, and maximizing of moments.
Being here represents a separation from the world. The atmosphere is like a bubble. It is like a bubble that makes it seem like this is all that exists—there is no distractions and one cannot help but to be 100% here, because there is nowhere else to be. There is this separation from comparison with the rest of society, a separation from the things that Satan most easily uses to whisper lies into our lives. Being on an island, this island, gives one no access to drugs, alcohol, or partying, rather being here, life is offered. A life with no technology, no grocery store with the convenience of a 5-minute drive, no fast food, no busyness, no hustle and bustle. See, all that we are left with is the significance of each moment. We are left with smiling faces, beautiful sunsets, exquisite ocean, waving people, and magnificent snorkeling. We are left with the calm and we are left with each other.
Being in Eleuthera has required each of us to somehow become keenly more self-aware and as we each take a step back we find what is truly important in our lives. Is social media what your life revolves around? Or maybe it is a specific person? Whatever the case may be, while we are here with none of the things that most consistently distract us, it allows us to re-focus and re-devote our time to the things that are important and realign our hearts to the One who should truly be our everything. Somehow, it’s not that you feel closer to God on the island, rather everything else slowly dims, and He comes into clearer focus. The relationships you have are what matters and the maximizing of each moment takes precedence. There is no better way to love God than to love people, and when distractions are gone we are able live life to its fullest. So this week, from the Bahamas, I urge you to put down the screen, rid yourselves of the distractions, and live your life to the fullness that is offered through the cross. I pray we all learn to stop minimizing the cross and instead maximize our time, our relationships, and the things that are truly important in our lives.