I was reading through my reader’s digest the other day, when I saw this quote:“It’s a wonderful metaphor, catching a wave, for how you can look at other challenges in your life.” – Jeff Bridges
Now, I am definitely not promoting the actor, but I did find his idea interesting, so I thought I would look up the beginner’s steps to surfing. I was surprised to find that he was right. I’m sure his metaphor would look a bit different than mine, but I thought I would share some thoughts with you.
“Surfing is a progressive sport. It takes time and practice and you need to learn to surf step by step, so before catching an unbroken wave, make sure you are competent in catching broken waves. The key here is committing to catching the wave.
Start paddling for a wave when it’s about 10feet away to make sure you are in a good position. As you paddle, check over your shoulder making sure you’re in the right spot and adjust your paddling speed accordingly.”
Learning to handle trials in our life takes time and practice as well. The Scriptures say:
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
We need to study and prepare ourselves for the difficulties that lie ahead. We are promised that trouble will come, so we should be committed to facing it head-on, not trying to ignore it or dodge it. Doing that will only allow the trial to overcome us and drowned us. We need to center ourselves in Christ and find confidence in His strength.
“The wave will roll through and ‘pick you up’. Keep paddling, putting in all your effort to get your speed up. If you are too slow, you will be dropped off the back and won’t get your ride.
*tip – don’t be afraid of the wave. Make sure you are practicing in smaller 1-2ft waves until you get your confidence up.”
Trials will often “pick us up” and pull us away from our normal routines and even from what we consider safe area, and take us places we aren’t comfortable in. However, attacking the problem with a forward-focus on Christ will not only keep us from falling, it will also allow us opportunities to experience blessings. There are some things that we will never understand until we are in the midst of a hardship. The grace of God brings countless gifts along with it. Don’t miss out because you allow fear to control you. Work on gaining confidence in the small areas of life, before the bigger ones come along.
So that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. II Corinthians 4:15
“You will know when you are ‘on’ the wave when your board begins to ‘glide’. As a beginner you want to be looking straight ahead. You don’t want to worry about going across the wave until you are confident in standing. As you become a better surfer you can look down the line where you want to travel.”
“Glide” means: To move in a smooth, effortless manner. That takes some supernatural strength! We should have complete confidence to seek out our heavenly Father in difficult times. Only with His help can we face trials in a smooth and effortless manner. At some point, faith alone becomes a habit. We are able to respond with calmness of heart and spirit in the midst of strife – perfect peace.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
Look ahead. Don’t concentrate on the past mistakes and failures. Each day is a fresh start, and His mercies are new every morning.
But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. Philippians 3:13b
“Once your board is ‘gliding’ you can begin your stand. You want to place your hands just above where your chest lies on the board. You need to get to your feet quickly. This is done using a ‘pop up’ motion, where you will lift the front of your body nice and high and quickly slot your feet in underneath.”
There is a time to be still and a time to move. As I’ve said before, God often allows difficulties in our lives to make us uncomfortable, so that we will change. Don’t be afraid to step out and take a risk. Do the next right thing. Many of the things in our lives would never have been accomplished without the prodding brought on by trials.
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8
“When you get to your feet, it is easier to stay crouched and low, keeping your centre of gravity close to the board. This will help maintain your balance.”
Keep Christ the center of your focus, stay close to Him and stand firm in your convictions. Don’t let trouble trick you into compromising your testimony. Remember, He has brought you here, He won’t abandon you.
Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13
“Once you have your balance, you can start to stand out of the crouch position to begin riding. As you move into your standing position, your weight will drive the board and fins to create extra speed off the bottom of the wave.”
As your faith grows, you will be able to see the lessons and the blessings in the struggle.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4
“You now move into your full standing position and begin your bottom drive using your arms and body weight to create some extra forward momentum.
…this look[s] very easy so don’t be fooled. For your first few attempts, just go straight and get used to getting to your feet quickly. Once that is down pat you can start to work across a wave face.”
Don’t get proud. Remember where your strength comes from. It’s easy to get to a point that you feel you have it “under control.” Let God maintain control.
Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12
Then, when your faith is perfected, you can share what you have learned with others.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
So, catch the wave! Face your problems head-on and watch God work!
Original material by Holly M. Besser, ©2013. May not be used or re-printed without permission. bp46p11-08-13
Surfing steps taken from: http://www.mesurf.com.au/technique_beginner_greenwave.aspx