Sunday, July 19, 2009

Riding the Waves of Life

"As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit.” --Emmanual Teney

"You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.” --Brian Tracy

I spent the day at the beach with a few of my friends yesterday. I had not been in the water past my knees since my youth and had forgotten how enjoyable it truly is. As my friends and I went further and further out, we decided to push past where we could stand and head out a little deeper. We pushed our way out, periodically reaching down to feel where the bottom was.

The first time we went past where we could stand we each got a little nervous and scared and kept trying to touch the bottom to reassure ourselves that we were not too deep yet. We tired quickly with our constant reaching down efforts and decided to go back where we could stand again. However, all mentioned how fun it was and wanted to try again.

The next time we handled it differently, we ackownledged that our constant efforts to be in control by feeling the bottom was prematurely tiring us and decided instead to simply enjoy the deep and the feeling of being moved by the waves. We made slower, smaller movements forward and relaxed our bodies, allowing them to float back and forth in the waves. We were able to stay in the deeper water much longer. We found much more joy in the experience and our fears disappeared. We knew we could ride the waves or even swim in when needed and did not feel the need to exert extra energy searching for the ground below us.

Interestingly, we also found that as we took the more passive approach, the waves consistently pushed us closer to shore. Each time we thought we were quite aways out, we would look around and realize we were not near as far as we thought. When we would occasionally reach down, the ocean floor was much closer than it seemed.

This is how life is. I can choose to fight what is happening in my life, to constantly be searching for the bottom, for something to hold on to, or I can choose to enjoy what my life is bringing me. I can choose to submit my will to the Lord's and gently ride the waves in the ocean of my life. I do not need to waste my energy searching for where the bottom is, instead I can trust that He will not give me more than I can handle and that He is ever so gently bringing me closer to Him.

The waves in life can be gentle and they can be rough, but they are a constant. Why should I fight them or be afraid? Today I choose to be brave, to face my problems head on, to submit my will to the Lord's, and to enjoy waves in the ocean of my life.


  1. Fantastic, Liz. You totally captured the moment. I love that you always look for the lesson in everything. I am so lucky to count you as my friend. I sure did help to have a friend out there in the waves, too. :) I think that goes right along with your thought. Thanks for 'riding the waves' with me.

  2. You expressed this wonderfully.

    It was such a wonderful time. I really enjoyed it.

  3. Thanks Erin and Marcia! It really was a great time, wasn't it.

    Erin, that is a really good point about having a friend(s) with you, it really makes it easier to enjoy the ride and let go of the fear when you have someone next to you.