Purpose, Peace, Pain - Dropping In
The scene was like one I had dreamed of since I was a kid in school and looking at old surfing magazines. I was in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, surfing a right-hand reef pass in front of our hotel. The water was beyond clear. So clear it was like there was nothing between the bottom of the ocean and the surfboard I was sitting on.
A few hundred yards behind me was Viti Levu, the main island in the Fijian Island chain. In front of me was one of the largest waves I had seen since arriving with my wife, Laura, and infant daughter, Kirra. The sun was setting, our flight back to the mainland was leaving in four hours, and our bus to the airport was waiting.
I hesitated as the overhead wave approached. The water was shallow, perhaps less than three or four feet deep over sharp coral reef. The last thing I needed was reef rash, stitches, or anything that may delay our trip home.
But I had to go. The wave was perfect. If I backed off and allowed my fear to keep me from going, I knew I would regret it.
I dug my arms deep into the water, paddling as hard as I could to get into the beautiful swell. As I felt the wave’s momentum, I jumped to my feet and threw myself over the ledge.
I barely made it to the bottom of the wave, feeling the fins of my board catch the water while I turned and raced for open water. I watched the reef underneath me, dragged my right arm in the side of the wave for balance and control, and focused my eyes on the safety of the channel. I kicked out, looked to the sky, and raised my arms up with stoke.
I surfed that wave over fifteen years ago and it lasted no longer than seven or eight seconds, but I remember it like it happened yesterday.
It was an amazing ride, though I paid the price. Several waves behind it had broken and were coming straight for me as I tried to paddle to shore. When the whitewash hit me, I scraped against the reef, resulting in several cuts and bruises on my legs and ankle. On top of that, my board received several dings that were likely beyondrepair.
Surfers call this scenario “getting worked.” Let’s just say I got thoroughly beat up. I was content and stoked with that final wave, but at the same time, I was tired and struggling to get to the beach.
By dropping in that wave, I experienced joy and stoke. I also experienced injury and insult. But I am so glad I dropped in; if I would have backed off, I wouldn’t have experienced the speed, the tube, and the exhilaration of surfing a six-foot right-hand reef pass. Dropping in—going over the ledge—brought adventure and contentment. Dropping in also brought anxiety, stress, and pain.
In a lot of ways this is a metaphor for the Christian life.
Following Jesus—dropping in—is the beginning of a lifetime adventure of walking through life with the creator of the universe.
This brings exhilaration and purpose, blessings and joy, contentment and peace. However, dropping in also brings challenges. The Christian life, following Jesus, is not a life free from trials and tribulations. No, the Christian life is one that helps us address them.
One reason I wrote Dropping In is to help you tangibly walk with God and experience the exhilaration and purpose God desires for you.
Check out Dropping In at the website, or send me a message (email@example.com) and I will email you a chapter of the book. I’d love your feedback!