Monday, December 30, 2013

Swallowed at Sandy Bay

2013 done and dusted. Almost.

2014 is a less than 5 hours away as I write this blog and soon we will cross the threshold into a new year.  The clock waits for no one, so it pays to be ready for this shift in history's timeline.
The agenda for today: RELAX.   What can be more invigorating and soothing at the same time than a day at the beach?!  With dramatic coastlines and warmer waters up here in the northern part of the north island, we have no shortage of good surfing spots.   In my car, well- stocked with food, water, and my "has-seen-better-days" boogie-board, we made our way to Sandy Bay to enjoy some fun in the sun.

And that we did! The day was clear and the surf was good, albeit full of seaweed.  Most waves were good for catching, and thanks to the help of a friend who has a keen eye for rip currents, we enjoyed the power of the ocean. 

And then. ..  .as often happens just when you think you're getting comfortable . . . a series of larger-than-expected waves came upon us like a brick wall.  The "wall" hit!  Right on it's heel came another one, followed by another, leaving no time to recover.  The merciless waves swallowed everyone in their path, driving us all like torpedoes into the sand.

In an instant I found myself tumbled and tangled, churning like laundry in a dryer, with no time to catch a breath or discern which way was up.  I'm a strong swimmer and have learned over the years how to avoid such predicaments on most occasions, but today all of us found ourselves finally emerging with sore necks, and bellies  full of salt water..  .which was soon regurgitated.  :-)

In the middle of the underwater tornado, realizing that it was going to be a while before I stopped spinning and saw the blue sky above,  a sense of reassurance came over me.  There was no reason to panic; this WAS going to end sometime. It HAD to!  I just needed to relax and ride it out with two goals in mind:
 1) don't break your neck; 2) don't swallow any more sea water!

Time and again the waves of the sea have been my teacher.  Perhaps today's incident couldn't have been more timely.  Here are a few lessons:

 1) Comfort.  Cruise-control. Auto-pilot. These can be the enemies of growth and the cause of way too much unnecessary pain. 

Dear friend who is "riding a wave" now.
2)  2014 is nearly here and like the waves of the sea, it will come with power and be pregnant with possibilities, joys and hardships.  If we are too comfortable and unprepared, it will swallow us whole and spit us out in 2015 with nothing more than sore bodies and fractured hearts to show for it.

On the contrary, if we anticipate the strong surges that are bound to come in the form of temptations, death, disease, and difficult decisions, we will have strategies to cope with them when they do arrive.  If we are prepared to "catch" them under our feet like a surfer riding the crest, they will be our servant, helping us ride long and strong safely to shore.

But even if we find ourselves spinning and a bit frightened, we will know to call on our Heavenly Father whose Spirit is within all who believe in Jesus Christ, and he will give us the guts and the wherewithal to  come out on the other side standing firmly on our feet . . .and with great stories to tell!

Be encouraged friends.  Waves were meant to be ridden!

2014 is coming.  Get ready to jump on board!

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