I was able to go on a nice paddleboard ride in the ocean the other day and boy was it an adventure! And the funny thing is, while I was out there enjoying nature and enjoying the sea, I felt like God was talking to me and showing me some principles I could learn. So here are a few things I learned while paddleboarding:
Walking on Water Requires Balance
Once I got past the break and I finally stood up on my board (you have to lie on your stomach and paddle out to start), I forgot how hard it was to balance on a board while standing up! Other people made it look so easy, almost like the board does all the balancing for you. But no, that is not the case, it is all on you. And starting out, I was really wobbly. And as I was paddling forward, I felt like God was showing me how hard walking on water really was. Jesus (and Peter!) walked on a unfamiliar terrain, something their feet had never touched before. It wasn’t firm, it was ever moving and had to be balanced on.
That’s a lot like the life of faith that we walk out. Sometimes when we take a step of faith, what we end up walking on is an unfamiliar substance. And it requires balance. Balance of emotions, balance of belief, balance of how we look at God. The life of faith requires balance.
Don’t Look Back
As I was paddling away, a little more steady now, I started looking around—looking at the view of the ocean, of the water underneath me, of the sky above me, and of course, the shore behind me. And here’s where I made my mistake—I saw some people back at shore and I started looking back to see who they were and what they were doing. But I was so fixated on them that I wasn’t looking at the rolling wave in front of me and I lost my footing and fell in! You see, if I wasn’t distracted with what was happening back where I had been, I would have been able to look at and see where I was going and see the things in front of me I’m supposed to face. Those are the things that will help me go out deeper.
Sometimes I feel like we all get distracted with what’s back on shore, we see the people we’ve left, the things still happening and want to keep looking back. But if we keep looking back, we’ll never be fully prepared to go forward. We all are meant to go out deeper with God and we must leave the shore behind us in order to do that.
Its Okay To Wipe Out
Okay, so this one must be related to my last point considering I already talked about falling in. But both of these instances are separate occasions. When I had finished my lovely paddle-boarding time, I had to take the board in. And the only way in is through the waves. So I laid down to ride the wave in, only to catch it, nose dive in, and completely wipe it—board flying up in the air and everything!! To make matters worse, I got back on my board to catch the next wave in and did the same thing! It wasn’t until the third wave that I was able to get my balance, catch it and ride it all the way in. I have a feeling that the people I saw back at shore were now watching me now. But I just felt from God the whole time as I was failing so epicly, that it was okay to wipe out when trying to catch a wave.
Isn’t that how we all are, we try to catch the waves of entrepreneurism, of trends, even of what God is doing. We want to ride the wave of something, but sometimes we end of wiping out. But I just felt God tell me to get up and keep going, because its the only way I will get better. Wiping out gives us room to learn, to figure out how to get better. The only way we will get better at catching waves is to keep doing it and embracing that sometimes, we may make mistakes and wipe out. But the most important thing is getting back on the board and trying again.
So my friend, I hope that a simple (and now you know a little disastrous) paddle-boarding ride has now encouraged you with a few spiritual principles. Remember to keep moving forward, don’t look back and to give yourself grace with your mistakes sometimes.