Here I am, going deeper.
Here I am. Looking out into the deep waters at the crashing waves before me. I begin to walk into the waters carrying my surf board behind me. Deeper and deeper into the water with every step. The water now up to my waist and the waves higher than my head. And there I spot it. My first wave. I turn my surfboard towards the shore and boost myself up onto it. My feet slightly hanging off the back, hands by my side ready to paddle. I peek behind me as the wave comes closer. I begin to paddle. Feeling the wave begin to lift the back up in the air, I keep paddling a little more. My hands go by my side, I lift to my knees, and then to my feet. I can begin to feel the wind in my hair as the wave takes me back to shore.
“I’ve realised what Jesus did for me and I have properly understood how deep God’s love for everybody really is.”
* Student, 15 Years
Surfing forces you to live in the present moment. To take one step at a time. In order to catch a wave, you must first learn the proper technique, take the first step into the water, go deep enough into the waves, and so on. I began this retreat by introducing the theme of “Going Deeper” by telling the young people that the first time I went surfing, I just wanted to go out deeper and deeper but not only in the water but also in my faith journey. This past weekend, I was able to witness a young girl take a step deeper in her faith journey.
I remember being in the water looking around me at those trying to catch waves. I would often forget one step, the extra four paddles to get that extra boost on the wave and would often just fall off or not have enough power to catch the wave. It was such a witness when someone keeps trying even though they would fall and fall again because in the end, it’s all worth it to catch your first wave with a huge smile on your face and fist up in the air. Taking that extra paddle and making that extra effort is the source of a good wave. If you fail once, fail twice, try, try, again and keep going as your effort will pay off.
I don’t know what her journey has been getting to this point, but I remember her sharing how she felt as if God had been telling her to “go deeper” in these past few weeks of Lent and this weekend was confirmation of that. During the retreat, we were able to talk about the love of the Father and how Jesus is just waiting for our response. In the evening of the second night, we had a time of prayer where there was a drama that demonstrated that Jesus truly died for each and every one us and just how much he cares about us. This was her turning point. She discovered that she can have a personal relationship with Jesus.
Moments like these make what I do worth it. I have been a missionary with NET Ministries for three years now and having these opportunities to witness lives being changed right in front of me is an experience that I can look back on and truly believe that God used me to make a difference in someone’s life.
The waves may look too big, maybe you keep falling, maybe that first step of putting in your foot is too much, but He is waiting for you to be brave and take that first step and not look back but improve the future… With Him. All it takes is one step.