While working on my most recent book, Homeschool Teacher’s Almanac, I discovered that today was the under-celebrated International Surfing Day. Living by the ocean when I was younger brought many opportunities: lifeguarding, shelling, fresh fish, life-long friendships and beautiful sunrises, and sunsets. Living just a few houses down from a lighthouse definitely had benefits!
I’ll never forget the day I learned to surf. My friends, Jeff Richter and Davy Crockett (yes, that was his real name — and yes, he was related to the legend). You see, these two old friends were extremely patient in teaching me how to get up on the board, how to paddle, how to balance — the basic technical skills for surfing, But because the winds were very calm, they also taught me how to wait. Waiting was hard. I wanted to get up on a big wave and just ride — but the surf was uncooperative. And so I waited. And waited.
And while we were waiting, we contemplated . . . our friends, our families, work, and we remembered . . . great times, beautiful sunsets, long bike rides, beach volleyball & drive-in movies. What I didn’t realize was that in waiting, I was learning about the rhythm of the waves — every 7th wave was larger than the previous. If I hadn’t been watching and waiting, I would never have discerned the rhythm, the pattern that would enable me to be able to rise up on the board, find balance, and ride the wave to the shore — which prompted another conversation.
We spoke of timing, watching and waiting. Contemplating and calculating the rhythms of the different seasons of life. And then I spotted it — a slow rise that grew into a swell that crested just before I was able to rise up and catch the crest of that small wave, the cares of the world were left behind as I soared towards the shore beckoning ahead.
1st Timothy 4:2 speaks of this concept — being instant in season and out of season, being ready, being willing whether it’s convenient or not, with these words from the King James Version. Three other favorites also encourage pacing, timing, and waiting:
“Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.”
Isaiah 40:31 ” . . . but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”
Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”
Yes, it was a victorious ride for a beginner and the dawning of a new understanding — one that was fueled by the discernment that what I had learned that day was far beyond the basic skills of surfing — it was a new understanding of pacing, timing, and living in the moment, while being willing to recognize, rise up, and run in keeping with God’s perfect rhythm of life.