by: Scott Little
Welcome to our new PFMC Pastor’s Blog! Every week (on Wednesday if we can be disciplined enough), either Pastor Scott or Pastor Chris will be posting a new entry here in an effort to inform, encourage, challenge, or enlighten you in some way on your spiritual journey. Stop by each week and check it out!
Riding The Wave
By Pastor Scott Little
Have you ever watched someone surfing? Surfing is an interesting sport, because it’s dependent on the waves. Most sporting activities are primarily dependent on the skill of the player for success. Golf, baseball, basketball, football, boxing, track & field, and most other sports depend almost entirely on the ability of the athlete, but surfing is different. A surfer can have world-class skills, years of experience, and textbook surfing knowledge, but if the waves aren’t breaking it won’t matter a bit.
Even when the waves are breaking, the surfer has to adapt to them. He or she can’t change the wave’s direction or height or shape. Neither can they change how the wave curls or how long it will last. When it comes to surfing, you can ride skillfully, intelligently and beautifully, but you can’t manage the wave. It will appear when it appears. It will appear where it appears. It will be as high, wide, strong, and long as it’s going to be, and the great surfers – those who have mastered the art and enjoy it the most – learn to adapt to the wave as it comes and enjoy the ride.
I think King Solomon would have been able to relate to surfers. He understood that the same principle that applies to surfing also applies to living. He wrote Proverbs 20:24, which says: “The LORD directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?” (New Living Translation).
This verse makes me think, especially over these last few months, about how much time and energy I spend either worrying about my life or trying to control it or both – trying to, in the words of the proverb, “understand everything” – to figure it all out, make sense of it, even bend it to my will. My circumstances, my future, my job, my family – you name it, I invest great amounts of blood, sweat, and tears trying to control and tame this life of mine. So much so, in fact, that I sometimes sense that I’m missing a lot of the joy of living. I’m like a surfer trying to manage a wave instead of getting the most out of the ride!
Solomon says to people like me, “God’s in control. He’s the wave maker. He knows how to shape and form and control and manage this wave called your life, so relax a little and enjoy the ride!” If I can stop trying to control my life so much and instead start realizing it’s a gift from God to enjoy, everything changes. I can stop worrying so much about circumstances and learn to adapt to them as they come, knowing not only that God has them in control, but that He’s watching over my “ride”, unwilling to let me drown. I might fall off the board and swallow some water every now and then, but He’s not about to let me go under and be towed out to sea!
I’m not saying we sit around and do nothing, just letting life sort of happen to us. We’re participants. Good surfing involves the surfer as well as the wave. So we can think and plan and act to make life the best “ride” it can be, as long as we don’t exchange the joy of riding the wave for a futile attempt at shaping it by our own hands, which almost always results in a spectacular wipeout!
We weren’t made to “direct our steps” (control our life circumstances) – that’s God’s responsibility. We have the privilege to trust what He’s doing and ride the waves with all the skill and enjoyment we can.
I wonder if you, like me, are ever tempted to trade in your surfboard for a wave-making kit? I’ve seen the box the kit comes in. It looks great on the outside, but when you open it up, it’s empty! You and I weren’t created to be wave-makers. Trying to control the waves makes us anxious, frustrated, and exhausted. So if you feel like you’re drowning trying to form the perfect wave, listen to the wisdom of Solomon, a “surfer” from way back: trust the Lord to control the waves, then grab your board and enjoy the ride!
1 Comments on this post:
I feel like you were speaking to me specifically!
Thank you. I have not been enjoying the ride.