Reflections by the Sea: Steps in the sand

Published 10:12 am Sunday, August 13, 2023

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By Betsy Ore Glass

My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not slipped. – Psalm 17:5 NIV

Walking along the beach isn’t always as easy as it looks. With broken shells scattered here and there, it makes it hard for a tender-footed person like me to step through them. Sometimes the outgoing tide can leave the sand so hard-packed that it resembles a surfaced road. You never know what to expect each day and that is what I enjoy most about the beach … it is ever changing! In the winter, when vehicles are allowed to drive on the beach, have you ever tried to walk inside the tire tracks that remain? It is a balancing act to walk one foot in front of the other on the narrow path without falling!

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We are fortunate to have so many accesses to the beach. Many of them provide a wooden path to the sand. Some even have benches for sitting. These overlooks are perfect for the person that can’t set foot in the sand because of limitations of some kind. But it is the person that ventures out “into the trenches” so to speak and gets sand up to their ankles, which are the ones that get to experience more. Like seeing the newly washed up shells and egg cases, finding a piece of sea glass or seeing a small sand crab burrowing back into the wet sand leaving behind only an air bubble.

It is that way in life. We have so many choices. Rather than be a spectator in life and sit on the bench, when possible, we should try to participate more and step into life. The older people that I know that enjoy good health are active. The most interesting individuals I come across are the ones that share their first-hand experiences of all they do and all they have seen. A friend will be 70 in a few months and is cooking this week with others for many children at a youth camp. “It is a 15 hour day,” she said. She inspires me to do more, to see more and to take more steps. When I hear about people like my friend that has earned a good rest at her age, but continues to do for others, it encourages me to want to follow in her steps. There is so much we can do for God and each other and each step we take can make a difference.

Betsy Ore Glass has long-standing ties to the Outer Banks. From Virginia Beach, her family bought a vacation cottage in the 60s and her love of the area began. Later in the 90s, Betsy and her husband bought a weekend cottage and introduced the area to their children. Then Betsy’s parents retired to KDH where the family gathered often. Reach her at To learn more about her books, visit