Monday, November 22, 2010
Ebb and Flow.........
Growing up, my visits to the beach were limited to the atlantic and gulf coasts. There is truly nothing as restorative as a beach vacation. It is a vacation that stops the hurry and hustle and for me, helps me to feel God. How can you look at the magnificence of the the ocean and it's tides and not see God? It was not until my forties that I visited the Pacific beaches of southern California. It is so very beautiful. The waves are massive compared to the waves I'd seen before. The power of it all is breathtaking.
It was on this beach that I first attempted to surf. I have always thought of myself as a fairly coordinated gal. I did gymnastics and cheerleading in high school. I can water ski and dance. I can stay on a horse....most of the time. So, I thought this would be no problem. There seems to be three separate parts of surfing to master. First of all you lay on your board and paddle out away from the shore either guiding your board over the waves or diving under them. This requires a lot of strength. The second part is the ability to go from laying on the board and jumping to your feet in a crouched position. The third part is the ability to drive your board in the direction of the wave you wish to ride...or catch the wave. I'm sorry, I don't really know the surfer lingo. Anyway, these are three separate skills to master and timing and balance must accompany each of the three. So, coordinating all of this at one time is quite a feat.
Jesus taught many lessons in the form of a parable. A parable usually describes a setting, describes an action and then shows results. It is much like an analogy. I often wondered as a child why He taught in this fashion. I really felt like I needed some straightforward directions with a few pictures....please. Now, I am beginning to think that He taught in such a way so that we could pick up the lessons from God through the miracle of His creation. I think that there are lessons everywhere if your eyes are open.
I've finally let go. I find myself paddling out to the unknown. I've ridden over a few smaller waves. I am diving under the larger waves. I don't know if I'll be able to pop up on this board or not. It takes timing and courage and no second guessing. I am at the mercy of the power and strength of the sea. It is a foreign concept to imagine myself putting blinders on and boldly popping up and letting the wave take me where it wants. There can be no stiffening up or you will surely fall. You must use the strength of your body to work with and not against the force of the wave. This is how I see God's will. I don't know where it will go. I don't know where it will take me. I just know that I need to pray and be still and listen. I know that I need to trust the ride and move myself with the direction that God is sending me. I know that I can't hesitate or my lack of faith will throw off the timing of that wave.
The ocean is in a constant state of ebb and flow. The rise and the fall of sea levels are caused by the combined effects of gravity exerted by the moon and the sun and the rotation of the earth. God is His grace knows our human weakness and gives us many many waves to catch. He gives us time to gather our strength. He allows us to fail so that we hopefully learn what not to do next time. The biggest and hardest lesson for me is the total trust. The total let your body move with the current that is God. I don't know why that seems so frightening. I don't know why we ever imagine that we can do better than the One who moves the ocean.
The next time I go to California, I'm taking an official surfing lesson. I'm a simple gal who needs a concrete example to help illustrate the feeling of letting go so that I can learn to ride the waves that are God's will. I want to keep learning. It is so exciting to feel like you see a glimpse of the hand of God. I want to look at the world daily and find the parables that God has placed in our daily paths if only we can be still and quiet long enough to see them.
My son is now having wonderful opportunities to face the natural consequences of his actions. There is no safety net of Mom or Dad. He is learning what he should have been learning long ago. The only difference between then and now is that we aren't contributing or getting in the way. God is now allowed to show my son these lessons or parables. Thanks be to God. This paradigm shift gives me freedom and hope. Today, I pray for my son to learn from life's daily lessons. I pray for the wisdom for him to accept his addiction and truly deal with it. I pray for those who are sick and suffering and as always, I pray for Henry. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.