Friday, July 28, 2017

Focus Friday: Let's Focus on The Wave

I don't have any pictures this week, so you're going to have to use your imagination.

First, I'll show you a short video:
The Wave at Water World (Colorado)

No, really. Click on it and watch at least a few seconds.

Now, imagine a 51-year-old woman riding that wave.

Actually, imagine a woman of that age pushing off uncertainly from the edge...then getting almost immediately swooped up into the wave and getting spat out on the other side.

She gets back in line and waits for one of the park's boards. 

Several people have their own boards and when they ride The Wave they make it look easy. They stay out there for several minutes, doing tricks and having a blast.

The second time the woman actually stays out there for a little while, thanks to advice from other riders. "Lean left and keep the edge of the board out of the water."

"Hey, I think I'm getting the hang of this!" 

But the third time, she gets a little cocky and gets swooped up by the hungry wave after just a few seconds.

She loses track of how many times she rides it as she keeps jumping back in line. She can't seem to stay out there as long as that second time. What is she doing wrong?

She asks advice from the pros around her and tries not to seem too creepy as she tells them how good they are. They seem glad to hear the praise even though they're too cool to acknowledge it with more than a slight nod.

She has a chance to go back to the water park again the next day and she rides one slide, wanders around the park a little and considers waiting in line for other slides, but nothing really interests her.

The Wave is calling her name.

So, back she goes, even though her knees are a little bruised from the tumbles she took the day before.

This time she does better the first couple of times. A kid even offers to let her use his board if she wants. (She is touched, but declines. "What if I crease it?" she tells him after hearing people talk about someone big getting stuck at the beginning and creasing park boards.)

Then she has some short runs and keeps getting back in line, determined to do better.

By the time she is done, she has gotten pretty good at staying out on the wave for a little while, and on her last run she dares to lift both arms up for a few seconds, and ends with an attempt at a "belly spin." (She got a little ways around and then the wave got her.)

Of course, you're smart enough to figure out that this woman is me.

I keep thinking about The Wave.

Why was I so willing to spend about three hours on the same ride for two days?

It was fun, even when the wave swept you away.

It was challenging.

The ride had a different feel to it. It wasn't just a bunch of people enjoying a simple slide. There were people there who were invested in this ride. They brought their own boards. They seemed to know each other. They encouraged each other when they tried a new trick and failed. They didn't laugh at a 51-year-old woman as she attempted to be a part of their world for a couple of days (at least not to her face).

I'm wondering why I can't be that tenacious in other areas of my life.

Why don't I keep diving in and trying, instead of quitting when I try once and something doesn't go the way I'd like?

Why don't I watch closely how others do it, ask lots of questions, cheer others on, and keep getting back in line to try again?

Why don't I accept the bumps and bruises of life and point to them proudly as proof that I'm attempting something difficult?

Boy, am I glad I don't have any pictures or video of me on that ride. I can hang on to the picture I have in my own mind, having fun and learning to ride The Wave.

"You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised." (Hebrews 10:36 NIV)

Have you ever been obsessed with a certain challenge? How can focusing on God help you to keep trying and not worry about how you look to others?

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