You’re standing in water up to your chest. There is a gentle lapping of the water against you. Then a few yards away the water rises. It is swelling higher and higher and coming right at you! As it rises, you jump slightly and begin swimming with it. It lifts you higher, and you are one with it. You’re gliding to the shore! There is nothing like riding a wave.
As you are gliding, you look over your left shoulder to see a wave rising higher and threatening to overtake you; you see the wave coming. You begin to paddle as hard as you can knowing you have no chance against your foe. As the wave begins to slowly but surely catch up you begin to feel a rush of fear inside but you continue to paddle. As you become one with the wave again, you feel a rush of excitement, and you ride it all the way to the shore. The feeling of freedom you get while riding with that wave is like nothing else in the world.
Today’s words were written during a vacation Larry and I took to Siesta Key, Florida in May of 2014. We had anticipated a few days of paradise, sunshine, and relaxation in an enchanting bungalow. Let’s see what happens as the tide rolls in, and we learn the beauty of riding the wave in a different way.
We arrived at our bungalow which had looked and sounded enchanting online. It was on a lagoon, and we envisioned our own little cottage with a spacious bathroom and bedroom, possibly our own pool. We thought they might bring fresh flowers to our room daily. Bicycles and kayaks were available. Men in white jackets might even bring us diet coke poolside.
Our first surprise was that our private bungalow was a small unit sandwiched between two other units with paper thin walls. I can tell you first hand the conversation our neighbor had with folks back home, but that isn’t part of this story. It had only one tiny bathroom, one tiny bedroom, one small couch and a small hole in the wicker dresser in the bedroom. Everything was small. Water from the air conditioner leaked onto the kitchen floor, and it had kind of an old musty smell to it. A wave of disappointment came, and a choice had to be made whether to ride it out or let it take me under.
I made a quick decision and asked God to fill it with His Presence and to show me the good things about it. As it turned out, we fell in love with it. It was cozy. It had character. Every day when we put our dirty towels out in the wicker basket, it was placed back on our doorstep with clean towels and a fresh flower. The people were friendly, and everywhere you looked on the grounds, except for the pool, area there was a spectacular view of lush vegetation, a tranquil lagoon and colorful flowers. Bicycles and kayaks were available, and we enjoyed our accommodations in a fresh way. We didn’t have to have luxury to have a luxurious time. We rode that wave and thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the bungalow.
When Larry got sick and felt terrible on the second day, we had to ride that wave. When I got sunburned on that same day, we rode that wave. Because it was our long awaited vacation, we chose to keep our peace and look for the best in each challenge.
We could have chosen to get upset and negative, rolling the negative thoughts around in our mind, pouting and whining and letting disappointment spoil our vacation, but we didn’t. We chose to ride the waves.
When we heard the washer at home had overflowed and three iinches of water stood in the floor of the laundry room, we rode that wave, too.
When we got home, we found out we would have two more boys staying at our house, making a total of four extra people in the house. That was an easy wave to ride because we loved it!
The next day, our oldest called to say he had car trouble 45 minutes down the road and we had to ride that wave.
When I didn’t accomplish what I wanted to at work my first evening back, I had to ride that wave. When I found out I would not be getting a bonus for the month of April, I rode that wave.
Life is good as we ride the waves.
Riding the wave means keeping your peace. It means, refusing to worry about what’s going wrong. It is knowing that God is with you and trusting Him to bring good out of it.
Keep smiling, make the best of it. Keep thinking positive things. Keep having fun. Don’t focus on what’s going wrong. Ride it out. Prayerfully handle it and move on.
How many beautiful things do we miss because we’re fighting our circumstances instead of riding it out? Get ready to ride the waves. Surf’s up!