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Surfing and Jesus

In order to fulfill my physical fitness GE requirement I signed up for PLNU’s surf class. I love the ocean, I’ve surfed before- not well- but how hard could it be? The class was only a quad, and it was twice a week. Though I had no friends in the class and it made me really nervous to think about, I decided to take the class anyways.

After just a month and a half of surfing I have a newfound respect for surfers. Carrying the board alone is difficult. Then paddling out only to get pounded back to shore is no fun. And standing up is basically like trying to walk on water. Nothing about surf class was easy. It was a whole lot of fun, and I definitely made a few friends jealous telling them how cool my school is for offering a surf class, but it was not the walk in the park I was expecting.

Today, after a month of being in the water, I finally was able to stand up and catch a wave. After weeks and weeks of beating myself up for not being good enough or being embarrassed that I was the only one in the class not standing up, I finally did it. As I rode the wave a smile formed on my face from ear to ear. I hopped off my board and looked around to see if my coach or if any of my friends had seen me. They didn’t. No one was around. No one noticed. Yet still I was so excited and stoked and pleased with myself.

Then I thought about what it would look like if I could serve God in that way. To be able to do something for God and receive no recognition. What would my life look like if I could serve God without any expectation of receiving a pat on the back or a ‘Good Job Meg!’ How would it feel to passionately serve God each time and know that the only person watching is God. Would I still do the things I do? Would I still hold the door open for a friend or give money to the homeless? How much of what I’m doing is so that others can praise me instead of praising God?

As I’ve grown in my walk with God I’ve practiced what it means to give God all the glory. Serving in children’s ministry and interning at churches is not something I do because I want people to think highly of me. I do it because I love it and it brings me immeasurable joy. It deepens my relationship with God and draws me closer to where I think He wants me to be. I pray that I can continue to serve God and glorify His name. Surfing today reminded me that not all my achievements need to be rewarded, because God sees me and He recognizes what I’ve done even if no one else has.

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