Hey all, just got back from a really fun time with Dylan Sinclair surfing up at Hangers. It was a great experience not only because the surfing itself was fun, but I just feel so amazing spending time in the vast ocean that God created, doing something that God gave to us as a gift for those He loved.
We prayed beforehand, and the Lord knows I talked to him plenty while I was out there too! Mostly, “God give me strength to make it through the break and to the outside!” or “God, please tell me that wasn’t a shark that just brushed my foot!”
Really though, it seems trivial…maybe even as though it’s in vain – to call on God for such things. But I’ve been trying to keep God in the everyday, the everyminute…what time is there that He shouldn’t be there with me? Who else should I talk to about these things?
After I got some cramps (grommet) and wimped out for the last 15 minutes or so, I sat on the shore just talking to God, singing praise songs in my head, etc. It wasn’t a super intimate moment, I wont pretend it was…but again, I came away from the whole surfing experience feeling refreshed and closer to God.
For that, I want to thank God for giving us the gift of surfing. We’d be foolishly arrogant to think that we came up with such an amazing idea on our own without God first putting it in our heads. Besides, everything is from Him, right?
An analogy was made by a friend the other day on facebook about how surfing parallels life in many ways. Paddling out can be very difficult, tiresome, and make you want to give up. I’ve paddled when I didn’t think I could paddle anymore, and when I didn’t think I was even getting anywhere.
But once you finally do get through the break and to the outside, there is a chance to sit on the board and rest while you watch the waves come in and float over them. You can look back and appreciate all of that hard work you just did…the accomplishment. Now, if you can catch a wave and ride it for a spell, that makes it even more worth it!
But also you have to rely on what you know, trust it, keep pushing even when you have fear, doubt, etc. It’s not easy. The shore is easier to get to…the waves are going towards it after all.
How much is life like this? Think of the times when you didn’t think anything you were doing mattered…when you were exhausted and didn’t know if you’d make it. You had to rely on what you knew…the truth, a.k.a. God, and trust that He would get you to the other side of the break.
Then you could see what He could see…the time of rest, and the reward of a thrilling new adventure (riding the wave). Pretty soon you (hopefully) start to realize that there is likely something worth “paddling” for on the other side of the crashing “waves” that life hurls at you.
I told Dylan (and have told others) that even when I come out to surf and get pounded around, hardly even catching a wave…after wards I feel like it was worthwhile and a good experience. I guess we should equate that to Romans 5:3-5, which I’m sure we all know already but I’ll quote it anyways:
3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.5 And hope does not disappoint us…
It is the experience…learning to paddle better, getting stronger, better technique…things that will help us get to where God needs us to be. I know I need to draw on this analogy more often when things are tough. Hopefully it helps you too.