Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Making Waves

On Saturday, following a stressful week, I found myself enjoying the great Bear Lake with some of my family. One of my sons, his wife, and their small daughter, came up to spend the weekend. That break at the lake was very much needed. We took over a picnic lunch, a canopy for shade, and camp chairs to kick back on and relax. But what helped me unwind more than anything else was something I haven't done in years. I ventured out into the lake and bobbed on a plastic flotation device. It was great. I leaned back, enjoyed the slight breeze, and rode the waves while visiting with my son. What a wonderful reprieve from the tension-filled week I had survived.

I did have quite an analogy surface as I lay back, watching the clouds go by. It was much more fun riding the waves as they came in, than to sit on still water. In other words, the friction that caused the waves made for a more entertaining ride. Hmmm. Food for thought.

I will admit there are days when I long for smooth sailing in my life--moments when there are no waves. But what would I be missing if that wish was granted? Would I arrive at the end of my journey and find that I had learned nothing of importance as a result? Enduring large unpredictable waves adds spice and color to our lives. We may not enjoy all of the foaming crests that descend without warning. But there is something exhilarating about learning to ride the waves as they come.

Since my life to this point has been filled to the brim with varied challenges, tests, sorrows, and joys, I suspect that trend will continue until I'm "safely dead," a phrase I'm borrowing from an inspired talk given by a former stake president. The winds of change will continue to bring mountainous waves my way. With God's help, I can learn to ride through all of them until the final breeze fades into stillness. Will waves follow me into the hereafter? Time will tell, but I'm almost certain I won't be basking on still water. I believe there will always be challenges, growth, and learning; what we gain is dependent on the type of journey we desire to make.

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