Last week, I had the privilege of listening to an amazing sermon by our new pastor, Ty VanHorn. In it, he shared a story about a time when he was swimming off the coast of Hawaii.
He was in the water when the life guard started blowing his whistle and pointing emphatically at something beyond Pastor Ty. Ty turns to look and sees that the horizon morphing into a huge swell that quickly gains in speed and size what it loses in distance.
Ty understands the lifeguard to be warning him of the wave and, as most of us would, swims like mad for shore. All the while, the lifeguard continues to blow his whistle and point at the wave.
The wave begins to suck water from the shoreline, drawing Ty with it and, despite his frantic efforts to reach land in time, the water’s pull drags him back. When it finally crashes, it does so right on Pastor Ty’s head.
He likened it to being in a washing machine. Up was down, all was chaos, and he received the thrashing of a lifetime. But when the water calmed, he was able to stand up and wade quickly to shore before the second wave hit.
It was only later that he realized the lifeguard wasn’t warning him of the wave, he was telling him to swim into it. Had he done so, rather than being sucked under, he could have ridden the top of the wave safely to land. This misunderstanding on Ty’s part nearly cost him his life.
The moral of the story is that when God sends waves our way, the worst thing we can do is try to swim away from them.
The second worse thing would be to stay still and hang on tight to whatever we happen to be using as a floatation device.
Instead, what we need to do is let go of anything that is hindering us and swim for the wave with all we’ve got so we can rise above it and ride it home. Instead of fearing the wave, we have a unique opportunity to trust God for the ride of a lifetime.
As I sat in church listening to this metaphor (oh how I love a good metaphor), I wondered to myself why this message was coming now, and not two or three weeks or even months ago. My (nervous) thought: The last three and a half months, the move, the job search, all of it, has only been training.
Now for the real work. I confided my nerves to Hubby who replied with the affirmation that he too felt God saying He was sending quite the wave our way. Gulp.
I don’t know about you folks, but I’m not a fan of winkled plans and boat rocking. I’m also not too happy with the idea of surrendering floatation devises.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that God knows best, and I think I’d rather be riding on top of the wave than beneath it.
So as I enter this next season of life, I’m praying that God will help me lay down my plans, schedules, preconceptions, and sandcastles in favor of enjoying some pretty awesome waves.