I had been sitting on the shore soaking up the sun for long enough.
It was nice on the beach. I had everything I needed to be content and comfortable–a soft blanket, a protective umbrella, great books and great food. I even had a lot of great company.
Together we basked in the warmth of the sun. Together we watched the ocean and spoke of its power and splendor.
But there were some who did more than watch.
They left the comfort of the shore and actually walked into the sea.
Some only got their toes wet. Others went a little deeper. Still others paddled so far from shore you could barely see them. But the ones who intrigued me the most didn’t just paddle …
They waited in the deep until they caught a wave.
It looked scary. It was definitely safer on the shore. But I was drawn. The “wave-riders” were experiencing something I hadn’t. They weren’t just watching the ocean and talking about it–they became part of it. It was clear the ocean’s power moved them in ways they never could have experienced from the shore.
I made up my mind.
Despite several protests from the shore, I got up and resolutely headed toward the sea. At first I was tentative, but then I threw all caution to the wind and dove in headlong. I paddled as fast and furiously as I could. I couldn’t wait to get out into the deep.
I won’t lie. It was scary. Especially when the ocean’s power took me under. It took my breath away in more ways than one! But each time I thought I had gone too far and couldn’t take anymore, I’d come up for air. Each time, I’d be refreshed and renewed. My life on the shore seemed a million miles away. I knew that this is what I’d been waiting for.
This is what I’d been created for.
I started catching a few small waves. They got progressively larger. It was exhilarating. If I positioned myself out in the deep and waited, another wave would always come.
Finally, a wave larger than anything I’d ever seen was heading toward me. I was intimidated by its size, but I was up for the challenge. I paddled out to get in position …
Before I knew what hit me, I was swept away by the most glorious and powerful wave I had ever seen! I was carried along faster and farther than ever before. I was so caught up in the vastness of the experience that, at first, I didn’t notice what was happening.
When I did begin to see, it was already too late. I thought I must be mistaken. This wasn’t possible. This couldn’t be happening.
But it was.
Before I could do a thing about it — that glorious and powerful wave — that wave I had been waiting for — that wave I had fearlessly run out to meet — that wave dumped me unceremoniously …
Right back on the shore.
I was stunned. I had been tossed around so much by the power of the wave that I thought I was just shaken. Surely this was a short-term thing. Surely another wave would come and carry me out to the deep again.
But it didn’t.
Even worse, the ocean seemed farther away than ever before. My strength had been completely sapped by the last wave. I was so weary I could barely move, let alone get up and swim.
It became clear I was stuck on the shore for the foreseeable future.
I tried to make the best of it, but it was hard. Life on the shore was different this time around. The people I’d hung out with before had moved on. It was mostly deserted. And cold. And cloudy. With very few comforts. And very little contentment.
But there was plenty of confusion.
Eventually, a few others began to gather around. It was a different group than before. Most of the new people had been wave-riders, too. Most of them had risked it all when they dove into the ocean. And most of them, like me, were still trying to figure out what the heck happened.
We were tired. We were broken. We were more than a little guarded with each other. But we also discovered something else about each other:
We all still loved — and longed for– the ocean.
We began to share our stories about riding the waves. We shared our stories about leaving the shore and heading into the deep. And — when we dared — we even shared our deepest desires …
Our secret dreams to ride the waves again.
It wasn’t long before I realized I wasn’t feeling quite so weak and weary anymore. The fog that had shrouded the beach began to clear. As it did, my vision cleared. Then, one day, I looked up and was startled to see …
The ocean was closer than ever before.
The others noticed it, too. It was as if the ocean’s tide had silently come in to woo us while we were busy encouraging one another. Now, suddenly, off in the distance, we could see the waves swelling … growing … building …
Did we dare hope? Did we dare believe?
We looked out at the ocean. We looked at each other. And we knew the decision had already been made. We got up and walked resolutely toward the sea.
But this time, we walked hand-in-hand. This time we would experience all the ocean had to offer …
Our toes are wet. We can hear the ocean’s roar. We can see the wave approaching. I’m not sure what you see, but from my vantage point it’s the biggest wave I’ve ever seen.
Maybe the biggest wave the world has ever seen.
It’s big enough for all of us. So don’t miss it.
Regardless of the past; regardless of how things have or haven’t worked out …
Are you in?
Are you ready to ride the wave …