Friday, April 16, 2010

Just Riding the Wave Baby

Life has its ups and downs, and it can be confusing, unnerving, and crazy-making. It may be difficult to know what to do when you're being tossed. Things may seem out of your control. To get an understanding of what to do in difficult situations, we often reference some model or manual. The Bible uses metaphor exquisitely to teach people how to live through such trials, through Old Testament stories and Jesus' New Testament parables. Recently, I have found it helpful to use my own wave metaphor.

Imagine life is a wave. The entire span of a human life would rise and fall just as a wave on the ocean. The wave is affected by the winds that change constantly and the gravity of the moon. Depending on where and when you were born, your wave may be high or low. You may have a surf board, a jet ski, or a boat. You may not have a vehicle to ride on at all. But still we all have to ride our respective waves.

Now when people ask me how I am doing, rather than saying fine, I say "I'm just ridin the wave, Baby." Metaphor allows us to detach from the difficult emotions that arise when life's weather gets rough. The wave metaphor minimizes the 'little packets of disappointment' (as my favorite Rock band, One Trick Pony, puts it) that we all endure. It doesn't get rid of them, but it shifts our focus from them, forcing us to pay attention to the way we're riding the wave.

If you don't focus on your riding, you are liable to crash. Go too slow or stop for too long and risk having the waves ride you instead of the other way around. Some people ride well and they know that it's good to look good riding. Some see the near wipeouts as the most fun part of the ride and others see near wipeouts as precursors to the ultimate wipeout. Some people ride their wave all the way into shore and others fall off and drown.

My advice to you is that you ride your wave, ride it fast and brave. Don't let your fear of falling inhibit you. Do whatever tricks your creative capacity can envision. Try your best not to knock nearby riders off of their waves, and if you have people riding your wave with you, work cooperatively with them so that everyone has a chance to shine. Lastly, and above all, enjoy the excitement!

Have a great weekend!

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