Brought to you by Bear Woznick Masters World Tandem Surf Champ and author of the book “Deep in the Wave – A Surfing Guide to the Soul”
“If you love Me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
The setting sun back lights the head high wave illuminating it in hues of orange fading to turquoise as a tandem team paddles hard to catch it. They slide down its open face and then stand up as if they are one. She turns to face him and then jumps with all of her might as he lifts her high up over his head. She is lifted high above the wave and the people on the beach point in awe. He is silhouetted by the wave but she is higher than the wave and is lit up by the golden setting sun.
The onlookers all ask the same question. “How can they possibly do that? They have to be one with that wave and one with each other.” They can do that because the man is flowing with the power and direction of the wave and the woman is sensing every moment what the man is doing and following his lead.
When we are in the early stages of our journey towards intimacy with our Savior and Lord, we first learn to love God as our Savior. Our response to his rescuing us is a loving thankfulness for what he has done. We do not necessarily see him in all of is Glory and Virtue. We are just thankful that he saved us. We love him more for what for he did for us by saving us than for who he is. But there is a time, when he invites us to learn to follow his lead and his will more closely so that we can experience the adventure of going deeper into his love.
If my tandem partner tenses up and focuses more on the wave, the potential dangers and on what she wants to do and tries to force her will, she puts herself in danger and greatly limits our ability to surf in the power vortex of the wave and it greatly restricts how extreme the lifts are that I can do with her.
This is why Jesus, he challenges us “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) We can’t go out into deeper water with him and experience the deeper adventures he has for us if we mutiny on the surfboard. If a tandem girl is tense, worried and willful she will not be able to flow with her partner and will miss out on the excitement and beauty that she could have been a part of. She needs to try easy, to trust in her partner and tune into him and follow his signals. She has to get her focus off herself and her fears and wants. She needs to be one with him and let her energy abide within his will and tune in to him.
I have sat on the board waiting for a wave with a very impatient partner. I know the reef, the tide, the currents, the swell direction and I am aware of others in the water that may not be a danger. I position us in the line-up and I wait for the right wave. She will begin to say “I want that wave, let’s take that wave, why did we miss that wave?” But then when I guide us into a perfect wave she learns to trust in me. Can you see how silly it is when we take that same attitude with the Lord?
We first love him because he saved us, but in the next phase in our journey we learn to love him and trust him as Lord. As we learn to say as Jesus said to his father: “Not My will but Your will be done” (Luke 22:42), whole new dimensions of intimacy with God open up. It is in this phase of purgative love that we become more aware of the Holy Spirit challenging us and helping us to grow in the virtues. We feel the cumbersomeness and the confusion of following our own agenda began to fall away. It is not that life become easier. It is just that life becomes simpler as we seek to abide in the clarity of Virtue with a heart yielded to the will of our Lord.
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Until next time Ride the Wave of the Spirit
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