Body Surfing /Catching Waves


Every once in a while a tsunami or tidal wave hits Hawaii. Perhaps there’s an earthquake in Japan which has harsh ramifications for the islands of Hawaii. Huge waves pound the northern shorelines of


But not everybody heads for the hills. Unbelievably, television crews cruise the punished shorelines. They fix their cameras on the 50 ft or higher waves on which surfers on their boards paddle about biding their time, waiting for the right moment to slide down the face of the wave. Some never find the right moment or the courage and have to be picked up by helicopters.


What were those surfers thinking anyway? Perhaps: If the ordinary ones are fun, exhilarating, how much more this bigger one.


I have to admit I never surf-boarded, but I did some bodysurfing. I loved it. It was wonderful waiting for the right wave to rise behind me, waiting for the right moment to plunge forward and feel the water rolling, churning under my chest, propelling me up the long beach at Waimanalo. What a wonderful power there was in all that moving water.


Wouldn’t it be simple and great if God were the ocean and all God wanted was for us to be bodysurfers on Waimanalo Beach? There’s a force in the ocean, even on calm days. A force that buoys us up and move us about on the formless sea. A force to yield to at the right moment. We think God is gone, but God is here in these swells, in these waves. We are waiting, waiting for the right moment to catch one.


It’s risky, it’s challenging. If we are too early, the wave will dump us on our heads, on the hard wet sand, and to add insult to injury, roll over us. Trampled by a wave. If we are too late, we are left behind, disappointed again.


Sometimes the waves are huge, sometimes of normal size, sometimes barely discernible. But God calls us to be ready. To look for the opportune moment to surrender to the power of the wave. And we must do it again and again until we are sun-brown and exhausted. And then it’s time to eat!