The other day, I went to my old school’s graduation. Both the salutatorian and the valedictorian gave speeches, but it was something in the salutatorian’s that struck me. He asked if we’re just floating along, unaware of the undercurrent carrying us out to sea. So of course, my mind came up with an analogy…
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Tim. 3:16, 17
It sounds weird, but surfers are in tune with the waves. They can feel when a good wave is coming or when the currents are too dangerous for surfing. Even before that though, they check the weather and the current patterns. Otherwise, they could go out at all the wrong time and get hurt or killed. I want to be in tune with the Lord. I want to know His word so that I know the storms I can avoid and so I can recognize certain currents that I could get sucked into. This is where that question falls: are we just floating along, unaware of the undercurrent carrying us out to sea? Do we just dive into something, completely ignoring or unknowingly put ourselves in the path of a storm or strong current that could carry us away? Are we so unsure of ourselves, whether or not we’re reading the waves correctly, that we miss good waves? Do we float, saying, “Oh, I’ll know when to go” when in reality, we’re being pulled out to sea? For a surfer, they know that they have to know a few things before they can actually hit the water.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Col. 3:23, 24
Have you ever just sat and watched surfers? Sometimes they’ll catch a wave and it turns out to be a beautiful ride, then they’ll lay back down on their board and paddle back out. I want my walk with the Lord to be like that, where the waves in life come, but I’ll be able to ride them. If you watch surfers while they’re up, they have such focus, but they enjoy the ride. That’s the way it should be for us, we have focus, but we still enjoy the ride. Other times, they fall. But, they get back on their board and paddle back out. There will be times we fall, but we shouldn’t just give up, sit on the beach, watch the other surfers with envy, and look at our own failure. The failure is in beaching yourself and not having the attitude, the will, and the want to try again.
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, O Lord; teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. I rejoice in following your statues as one rejoices in in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.” Psalm 119:9-16
But what about the days you can’t go out on the water? Surfers never stop. They still check weather patterns, equipment, styles, anything. The times we can’t go out and ride the waves, we should be doing the same; increasing our knowledge so that we can be better surfers.
I want to know when the waves are good for surfing, to be so in tune that I know when a good wave is coming, to be aware of the dangers, to keep going even though I may fall. I want to ride with confidence, focusing on the ride, but still enjoying it. I want to be able to say “surf’s up!”