129 DEEP IN THE WAVE WEEKLY – # 19 THE SEVEN VIRTUES SERIES
By Bear Woznick author of “Deep in the Wave – A Surfing Guide to the Soul”
The Virtue of Love – Responding in Love and Thankfulness to God saving us
Last week the surf was big here. On the ninth day of the swell, I dropped in on a towering wave that was two times over my head. I ran my board down the wall of the wave as fast I could. As I flew through one very fast and critical section, I could see a young couple stand up paddling in a deeper part of the channel just out of danger of this death bomb.
It was a long ride and it took me a good ten minutes to stand up paddle back out to the line up. I kept scanning the horizon for that couple and finally spotted them as one massive wave lifted them high in the air and then I saw them disappear on the other side. I realized that they had no idea what kind of danger they were in. Their accidental timing had carried them through the most dangerous impact zones during the lulls in between sets of waves.
Just like us when are adrift in our own will and agenda and think we are in control, they thought they were in control and that they were paddling powerfully. Just like us when we follow the priorities the world sets for us, all they were doing was just going with the flow. The riptide and off shore trade winds were propelling them out into danger while all the time they thought they were in control.
I had to paddle with all might to catch up to them. Finally I shouted to them “Why don’t you guys turn and head to shore now” I glanced down at my Garmin GPS watch. “You guys are about 3/4 of a mile from where you started.” She quickly responded and turned her board but his response was slow and a bit resentful. “Kneel down and paddle get low so the wind does not catch you.” She quickly complied but his response was slow and only half hearted.
He was not able to paddle against the wind and current and was still drifting fast further out to sea. “Lay down, put your paddle by your side.” I looked at the girl and saw a look that told me she now recognized how much danger she was in. She knew she was in over her head, but also I could see that my presence inspired confidence. “Grab my ankle leash” I yelled above the sound of the surf and wind. She responded right away. And then I motioned to him “Grab her ankle leash.” He had a look of confusion and fear mingled with resentment. But, as he drifted by, he finally reached out and grabbed her leash.
I pulled them behind me paddling hard towards shore against the current and the wind. I carefully picked my way through the deeper channels while always checking the horizon and then timing my paddle to sneak through the various shallower reefs in between sets. A good twenty minutes later we made it through the danger zone and to the shore without a single wave hitting us. If we trust in him, Jesus is our surf guide and our rescuer in the deep water of our lives.
Just before we got to the safety of shore, he let go of her leash and began to paddle away from us but still angling towards shore. When we got to the beach she looked at me with tears, “You are my hero …I mean you literally are my hero you saved me.” But he walked up the beach ignoring me. This is the way it is with rescues. They love you or in their pride want to pretend they never knew you and did not need a life saver.
Remember the story of the ten lepers that Jesus healed. Only one came back to thank him. But God’s loves all of us and paddles out to rescue all of us. Will we respond in thanksgiving or will we ignore him? “God demonstrates his love, in that that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 )
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Until next week ride the Wave of the Spirit
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