Published: Mon Oct 2, 2023
There was a fun wave early one Sunday morning. The spot where Surf Church gathers was already crowded with surfers. Due to a wide range of abilities, this particular break calls for a heightened awareness as an intentional or unintentional drop in is guaranteed.
I was speaking, at Surf Church, that morning and had about 20 mins before it started. All I wanted to do was paddle out, talk to the Lord as the sun rose and catch a couple of waves. Thats all. Nothing else. Turning on my first wave, I looked down the face and got to my feet. The two surfers on the inside saw what was happening and pulled back as I stepped on my tail, buried my rail and swung my 9’ 2” to setting my line.
The sweet bliss of a caught wave…Seriously!?! You guessed it, a guy laying too far back on a soft top was paddling hard into the wave I was on. I called out “YEW!” He kept paddling. “YO!” He was not paying attention. As I sped toward him he finally heard/saw me. Wide eyed with fear and not knowing what to do, he stayed prone and proceeded to go straight! I hit the breaks hard and cut it straight to the beach joining him on the whitewater path to the sand. No one was injured and no boards damaged but it could have been bad.
I made my exit and paddled back out. I had (like you are having at this moment – lol) a variety of thoughts running through my mind: “This young man needs to get out of the water and never come back!” “This dude should not of bought a board in the first place!” “This kid needs a verbal beating!”
After catching two more waves I paddled up next to this poor guy as he was finally making it back out to the lineup. I took my opportunity to share some thoughts with him. What would I say? How would I say it? Asking the Lords help I opened my mouth. Calmly, words of instruction on the importance of looking and listening, about priority and safety came out of my mouth. He responded with an honest “thank you sir” as I turned to take my final wave, back to the beach for the gathering.
There was a day, when an angry verbal assault would have been my default response. I needed a reminder that morning that the old way of thinking, speaking and doing was crucified with Christ. Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me”. Because of the gospel, we get to choose daily, even moment by moment, to live in a way that reflects the life of Jesus in us.
As I started speaking at that morning, I saw out of the corner of my eye a young man walk up with his board and sitting down on it in the front of the crowd. It was my dude that I had spoken to in the water! In that moment the Lord lovingly rebuked me and blessed me at the same time. Rebuked me because I wanted to give the kid the riot act! Blessed me with His gracious and affirming words: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God” Matthew 5:9.
Let us always remember whose we are and what we represent and “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” Colossians 4:5-6. How will you choose to let Jesus shine through you today when you get “burnt” on the drive to work, walking through the hall at school, riding that clean face, or whenever someone does you wrong?
Image: Derek Ho
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