We celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in Hawaii on our way to visit our son in Japan. My husband and I are early risers, even on holiday. Even so, surfers were already riding the waves before I began my time with the Lord. First light, and they were there. They were still at it at dusk. Before 6 a.m., I counted approximately thirty surfers waiting for the next good wave.
All this seemed especially significant in light of a recent study about teenagers and sleep. Some high schools are considering a later start time because of teen’s natural sleep cycle. As you remember, teens like to sleep late. So I was impressed by the numbers of surfers out at dawn.
I’m assuming that surfers’ mothers are not nagging them to get up and off to the beach. What’s happening here?
DESIRE. Desire is that internal valuing, that fervent longing, that energizing motivation to know, do, have. The surfer boys’ example reminds me that desire and discipline feed one another. I suspect that surfers never ask themselves if getting up early to surf is legalistic. Surfers know that the discipline of getting out of bed enables them to experience their desire—and to feed it.
Desire for God is a gift bestowed on every believer. It comes with the new birth. We cannot create desire for God, but we can feed it. We can also dissipate it, drain it of it’s holy energy. Desire for God shrivels with neglect and flourishes with nurture.
In case I’ve been unclear, my point is NOT that I should be reading my Bible before the surfer boys paddle out. For me, the surfers desire-motivated lives reminds me that desire plus discipline often equals delight. Catch the wave. Live the mystery.