Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Life is Like the Ocean

I may have written this post before, but every time I stand in the ocean, I have these same thoughts.

When the ocean is calm enough, you can stand in it at just the right "sweet spot," and avoid most of the crashing waves as they come to shore.  Often, when we are at the beach, our boys will come down to the beach (Steve and I, who don't sleep half the day away, will have already been in our beach chairs for a while).  The four of us will go out and find that sweet spot, and stand, bobbing around, talking.  As I stand there, I am reminded that life is often like the ocean, and our experience of it.
  • As you stand in the water, there is a challenge not to be caught in the breaking of large waves.  You have to pay attention, and get the timing and activity coordinated just right.  It's important to pay attention to the wave in front of you, not the ones that are two or three waves away.  Life is like that. Deal with the issue right in front of you, and stop worrying about the ones far away.  If you do that in the opposite way, you will find that you lose your focus on the immediate problem (the oncoming wave), and it crashes into you.  You will also find that the waves far away change before they reach you -- getting smaller or larger, or moving in a different direction.  You don't really have enough information to adapt your actions to accommodate them, yet.  You are just wasting worry, and missing out on what is right in front of you.
  • In the ocean, as a wave approaches, it helps to move toward it.  That sounds counter-intuitive, but by moving toward it, you reduce the amount of time the wave has to build up energy.  By approaching the wave, you reduce its impact.  The same is true of life at times.  If you move toward a problem, you can work through it before it builds more energy to impact you.
  • It's important to find your place in the ocean -- the sweet spot.  For me, compared to my guys, it may mean that I need to be in shallower water, since I am shorter.  Even so, there is a place to stand that makes the experience better.  Too close to shore, and you won't be able to avoid any of the crashing waves.  Too far out, and your feet won't reach the ground.  There is a place for us to stand in life where our gifts and graces will be put to the best use.  That place is the sweet spot -- joy.
  • It's better to swim with a buddy.  Fears are less, and conversations are better.
  • When a wave crashes into you, it is imperative to recover quickly.  If you don't, then the next wave will take you unaware.  Recover quickly, so that you can see what is coming next. 
  • It's not all just bobbing about in the water -- there is hard work.  As a wave coming, you have to keep your eye on the ball, plan what you are going to do.  The wave may require jumping high to avoid it, or holding your breath and swimming through it.  
Life is like the ocean sometimes.  The best part is that we can enjoy it.



Blogger birdwatcher said...

Just the message for me today- thanks.

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A great word picture of joy and how to have it. Thanks for sharing, Kim.
Trish Wheeler

7:19 AM  

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