My sun porch

My sun porch

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Life Lessons from the Ocean - Part 3 - A lesson in humility

"For I am the Lord your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar - the Lord Almighty is his name." -- Isaiah 51:15

Standing in the ocean, not far from the shore at low tide, the water was only at my knees. These waves aren't so bad! I walked further out. I looked to my left at the pier and I was almost equal with the end of that pier. The water still only came up to my waist most of the time. The pull of the ocean at my feet was stronger. I could feel the tug of the current, which usually pushed me back to shore, but now seemed to be pulling me further out to sea.

I became emboldened and faced the waves. Here at the "breakers" where larger waves would boil and roll up in front of me,  it was like seeing the birth of a wave. My writer's mind thought of my ocean/life analogy and I decided to pretend I was fighting with the ocean. It was throwing bad stuff my way. I jumped over waves, dived underneath, let them crash into me...never had I felt so powerful! No wave was going to take me down! I walked on a little farther, not listening to my husband calling for me not to go too far. I yelled at the waves, "Come on! Is that all you've got?!" I laughed at the next wave that slapped against me and knocked me back a few steps. I wiped the salty water from my eyes and enjoyed the powerful feeling! What fun! How exciting to feel like you can take on the world! I let a few more bigger waves hit me! I pretended to be Muhammad Ali, dancing around the waves. "Come on waves! I float like a butterfly, sting like a bee!" I laughed at myself, dancing in the waves...and then it happened.

I had gotten too cocky. I took my eyes off the oncoming waves in my little dance of power and a huge wave hit me from the side, knocking me off balance. I fell backward, just as another large wave rolled on top of me. I went under. I could feel the sting of salt water in my nose and throat. I felt myself flailing around, trying to get up. I thought I was drowning! It caught me so off guard that I couldn't think straight. Then I remembered it wasn't that deep and I stood up. I coughed and sputtered and got my feet planted firmly in the sand. As I got my bearings back, the waves kept coming and I knew I had the get back to shore. I turned my back to the waves and walked as quickly as I could toward to the warm sand. My husband just thought I was taking a break, waved and kept swimming. He had no idea I had just cheated death.

Well...cheated death might be a bit dramatic. But at that moment, lungs full of salt water, eyes and nose stinging, and legs like jelly, I felt near death. Each step felt like a mile and my chair on the beach looked so small. I HAD to reach it! I kept trudging along, the current pulling me, taunting me, making fun of my weakness.

When I did make it back to my chair and my towel, I plopped down, blew my nose and laid there for several minutes, thanking God for saving my life. My cockiness and greed for power took me under. It's addictive, that power. Once I conquered one big wave, I wanted more. I fought the waves instead of respecting them. I taunted them. I do not want to be that drunk with power again, even if it is a make believe battle with the sea.

Dear powerful Father,
Thank you for this lesson in humility. I am but a speck to your power. When I learn to respect that power and rely on it, instead of letting a little power make me cocky and stupid, you will use that power to protect me and support me. That is a good lesson for anyone on this earth. Thank you for your amazing and wonderous creation. Amen.

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