Running into the Wave
Posted on July 10, 2012 - 8:29pm in Pastor Andy's Blog
As a number of our Aloma folks prepare to go on a trip to Typhoon Lagoon again soon, I was reminded of an experience that I had when my family went to that park a couple of years ago.
It was my first time in YEARS that I had been to a water park and I was a little self-conscious as to how my tanned (!!!) and toned (!!!) physic would fit into such a place!
One of the main attractions at this water park is a 15 foot wave that is able to be generated every few minutes in their man-made ocean. Bethany and I were standing in the middle of this 'ocean' when all of a sudden this huge tidal wave is coming at us as we were swimming in the water. She got a little nervous (I was petrified!) as this huge wave came rushing towards us. I found myself realizing that, quite literally, I was in a situation where I was out of my depth! Not being able to recall any local news stories of people losing their life at this park, I reassured myself that all would be well and instructed Bethany to hold on to me as tightly as she could, and I'd get through this with her and take her safely back to our sun lounger. The wave picked us up, submerged us, and threw us to the ground before continuing its journey to the shore. A few seconds later we were standing together in calmer seas. The only casualty of this episode was my new sun glasses, which were lost in the commotion. We quickly returned to the shore to tell friends and family of our adventure and brag to them about how brave we were. In all honesty, it was not an experience I particularly enjoyed!
A few minutes later we heard the siren sound again that indicated another wave was coming. To our horror we realized that in the 30 seconds that we'd been talking on the shore, Bethany had managed to wander out into deep water and was now facing – alone and without her water-wings on – this huge wave. Bethany was just learning to swim and was far from being a strong swimmer. Tracie and I realized that she was beyond reach and we ran as quickly as we could out into the water to get her. Our hearts were beating, our legs were moving faster than they normally do, we were screaming at the top of our lungs for her to turn around. In that moment, panic set in for us. We saw our precious little girl blindly walking to a place where she was dangerously out of her depth.
Fortunately, we got to her just in time and were able to shield her through this wave.
As I reflected on this incident, it reminded me of our role as representatives of Christ in the world. There are so many dangerous 'waves' in our world today - waves of temptation, bad decisions with terrible consequences, addiction, and loss - all of which can smack us painfully to the ground. So often was see those we love walking towards catastrophic decisions and just look, shaking our head, into the ocean as large waves hit them. This is not the way it should be. Our loving Father God doesn't stand on the shore passively while we walk into destruction – he runs in to save and protect us. As followers of the lifeguard, Jesus, it is one of our primary roles to run into the oceans of life and prevent and protect those that are loved by God from the consequences of their ignorance.
Who do you need to run into the water to protect and bring to shore? Who do you need to offer love and support to? What difficult conversations do you need to have? Who do you see that is making poor decisions that you need to redirect?
Following Jesus is never about tasks to do, it is always, primarily, about lives at stake.