Surfs Up!

I recently saw a reel on Instagram that talked about something called the Surfer Mentality which says: “Enjoy every ride while it lasts, there’s always another wave coming soon.”  Now, of course, blanket statements like this can’t be applied to every situation in life.  But taken with a grain of salt, and not as the Gospel Truth, there is some incredible wisdom in looking at life this way. 

Author Sahil Bloom summarizes the Surfer Mentality by saying: “When a surfer gets up on a wave, they enjoy the present moment, even though they know with certainty that the wave will eventually end.  They fully enjoy THIS wave, with the wisdom and awareness that there are always more waves coming.”  This is a call to be present in the moment.  To savor and enjoy the blessings that are in our life now.  Far too often we can get caught up in the future.  We look ahead and see that even the best waves are going to die out eventually.  And it can be all too easy to fall into the “well what does it even matter?” mindset.  “What’s the point in trying to ride this wave?  We all know how it’s going to end!”  And while that’s true, if you think about it, everything in life is fleeting, temporary, and finite.  That’s part of the deal when it comes to living this kind of mortal, earthly existence.  But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t still give it a go!  There is joy, and exhilaration, and happiness to be had while you are riding that wave.  And rather than become too preoccupied with the outcome, however inevitable it might be, we are called to savor and enjoy the present.

The other piece that can play a factor in this is how that wave ends.  Sometimes you might be able to ride it until it dies out naturally, or bail out before it crashes down around you.  But eventually we are all going to wipeout.  And we need to realize that wiping out isn’t the end of the world.  Sure, you’re gonna do some potentially disorienting underwater acrobatics, maybe get your sinuses cleaned out by nature’s Neti Pot.  But if every surfer gave up after their first wipeout there would be no surfers at all.  Failure is a part of life, and as the great Mike Ditka once said, it isn’t fatal.  We all are going to mess up, fall short, wipeout.  Luckily, there’s another wave that’s already forming on the horizon.  There’s always going to be another chance for a killer ride for anyone who is brave enough to shake the water out of their ears and try again. 

That lines up perfectly with our Lutheran understanding of baptism.  There are going to be days where we just wipeout.  Days where we fail to be the people that God knows that we can be.  And thanks to God’s grace and unconditional love, there’s always tomorrow.  Each and every new day is another chance to get things right, and to try again.  Right after this wave is another, and another, and another one after that. 

Dear people of God, enjoy whatever wave you are currently riding.  Soak up every last morsel of joy, sunshine, and fun.  And know that when it ends, whether you ride that wave all the way into shore, or you wipeout and go for a ride in the whitewash washing machine, there’s always going to be another wave right behind it that’s just waiting for you.

Surf’s Up,
Pastor Sam