My whole life I have loved to watch surfers. They have learned to ride on top of some of the most amazing waves. Mavricks every year shows off some of the most talented surfers on the circuit. They are pulled out on jet skis just to reach the waves. The waves reach amazing heights the size of buildings. It’s breath taking to see.
I also get surfing magazine and love the posters they give us every month. I had one that hung in my office for years. The wave covered a four page spread and if you looked closely enough you could see the surfer expertly maneuvering the wave.
Now I personally have boogie boarded and love it but I have not surfed yet. Part of the problem is I live in the middle of the desert and the closest thing to surfing I have experienced is sliding down a sand hill and almost landing in a cactus. When I boogie board I am half on top of the wave and half in the wave with my body. Surfers ride the wave. They may even use their hand to push off the wave to improve balance. They use the wave. The wave does not use them.
Since I have never been surfing I suspect my first time I will wipe out. Ok, let’s be honest, I’ll wipe out A LOT. However, if I get up and try again I will get better and better and eventually I will actually ride a wave. Of course the next time I’m up I may wipe out again. It happens even to the best of the them.
Let’s focus on a different kind of wave experience. I own this really good movie called the Perfect Storm staring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg. The first time I saw the movie I was in a theatre. I must admit I left the movie feeling a bit sea sick. I spent so long watching these massive waves crashing against that boat that my mind started to believe I was there. I felt like I had to get my land legs left. Remember how that fishing boat was literally tossed around like a toy boat on the waves? George Clooney’s character Captain Billy Tyne could not manage the wave. It was hopeless.
I can think of another time in history where riding a wave was significant and life changing. Let’s call them wave walkers. Jesus and Peter are their names. Jesus was walking on the water during a raging storm when Peter cried out to Him. He asked Jesus to let him walk to Him.
Matthew 14: 25During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
So often I find myself like Peter. My eyes are not on Jesus but on the storm that is raging or the wind. Instead of riding that wave or storm out like my favorite surfer Kelly Slater I end up going down like a ship stuck in a perfect storm. I find that often when this occurs I am looking behind me to the past and looking at the size of the waves crashing around me. I need to exercise my faith. Let is stretch and grow much like learning how to surf. Each time I will last longer. Each time I will learn to keep my eyes on Jesus and not on the storm that is raging around me. What about you? Will you choose to hang ten and go down with the ship?
Surf’s up!!! Let’s make it a day of fun and go surfing!!
Side note: I have come to love the organization Walking on Water. Please visit their website at http://www.walkingonwater.org/.