One of my awesome church members said this to me after church one Sunday as we were talking about the subject of change.
It is a fundamental Truth that anything that seems to be permanent, an anchor in life, can be altered in an instant. Whether it be an accident, a sudden death, the breakup of a relationship or a marriage, losing your job, having to move…things that we like to feel have us on solid ground are in reality a very tenuous ride on a surfboard. We either find the strength, the courage and the balance to stand and try to ride it, or we sink. And if you’ve ever seen a surfer take a real dive, it isn’t pretty.
My own personal journey in life informs me that the times I try and resist the waves of change around me, I sink and sink hard. But when I have the faith to allow myself to be swept away by the currents of life to see where they take me, they invariably bring me to a better place. I can never see that on the ride because the wave is in the way, or I’m in the middle of it, or I’m focusing on balancing on the board. But it is a always a Truth that when the wave subsides, I find I’m OK; often better than OK.
Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
When we inevitably find ourselves upon the reality of such waves in life, the task before us is daunting and frightening….to see that massive wave coming, to stand with courage and balance and willingly put ourselves on such a risky ride seems to go against every grain in our rational minds. And yet if we don’t, the wave mayovertake us and we’ll drown. We at least have to try and take the ride. The choice is ours to make.
When we find ourselves upon the crashing waves of uncertainty and doubt, we need to remember what happened when Jesus' disciple Peter was challenged to walk on water during a storm. When Peter kept his eye fixed on Jesus, the storm didn't scare him and he was able to walk on water, too. The minute he got distracted by the storm, his fear and doubt took over and he immediately began to drown.
Had he remained focused, patient and guided by the faith that he wasn't alone and everything was going to be OK; had he known like Jesus did that he was more than capable of walking on the waters of that storm, he'd have been fine.
If patience is worth anything, it must endure to the end of time. And a living faith will last in the midst of the blackest storm.
- Mahatma Gandhi
It is a frightening thing when we realize the ground on which we stand isn't as firm as we might have imagined. It is in those moments, though, that we have the capability of realizing that we are gifted to weather far more than we ever thought possible and find authentic renewal, healing, and hope for the future.
Those who ride on the biggest waves on the planet must believe that they can manage them, otherwise they'll crash (or never take the journey in the first place). Else we crash ourselves or be overcome by fear and doubt, we must believe the same about ourselves as well; because we can do it.