Christian Surfers: Thought for the Month - God in a Bowl
A couple of weeks ago I finally cracked skateboarding in a bowl. It's been a long time coming. Years, in fact. Whether it was the exhilaration of doing it or the utter relief of doing it, I don't know, but I was transported to a seemingly uber spiritual plane. I felt my heart was ready to burst out of my chest!
I saw three distinct elements at play, each one of singular importance but all three combining to provide the whole, complete experience. Each element requiring a step or two of faith - and often blind faith at that!
One element is, of course, the bowl itself. Initially, although I would drop in, I always jumped off the board when it reached the transitions - I simply didn't know what to do when I got there. It was only when a friend explained that there is nothing I need to do as the bowl is designed to enable me to skate it and all I needed to do was trust it, that I set my goal on doing just that - simply letting go and trusting it. The bowl wants to embrace me.
Another element is the skateboard. When I've hooked its tail over the coping, its nose poking out over the 6ft drop, I wonder how it is that once I place my feet and lean in I don't just crash and burn! Instead, all four wheels land and in I roll, over to the other side. It works because it is doing what it is designed to do. It is the shape it is for that very purpose. It wants to lead me to further into the bowl.
And the third element is the motion. I've got the bowl and I've got the skateboard but what connects them to enable me to successfully skate the bowl is the centrifugal force that will propel me round. Without it, there is a bowl - and there is a skateboard - but there is no actual bowl skating.
Put them altogether, by stepping out in faith, and you've got yourself a trinity experience of such magnitude that you'll be psyched for ... well, quite some time, I'd say!
This actually follows on from an intense emotion I felt after taking the drop on a bigger than usual wave (for me) last summer. I was very anxious about going into the sea because the conditions were big. I had to pray at the water's edge, "Please let it happen that I get out back and take the drop on a green wave (ps keep me safe)." He did. I did.
It was the longest and fastest wave I've ever experienced and when I finally got to shore I wept. I actually knelt down and wept! So overcome by his grace, (again) was I that I couldn't just go back into the water as if nothing incredible had happened, I had to stay in that moment, wallow in that experience and thank Him. Grace and faith and trust. Everytime.