by Keith Glines
As the last hurricane in the gulf was bearing down on the Gulf Coast, there was only one thing to do in my mind—go play in the surf!
I am working on developing a balance between my adventurous spirit and being a wise and faithful man. However, the surf got the best of me this time. Adding insult to injury, I had the grand idea it would also be the perfect time to take my son surfing—even though this would be his first time.
Of course, I’m thinking that he and I would just paddle out to test the waters. I wouldn’t be overprotective and could concentrate on what I was doing.
As I watched my son paddle into his first wave to get destroyed by those stormy monsters, I lost focus on what I was doing and turned my attention to him. I was so intent on watching my son’s struggles that I could never get past the set I was in.
My fatherly protection overcame my adventurous spirit as I became focused on him. I watched Austin get pulled in and spit out by the waves and thought it would soon be over and that he would bow out. But that was not the case. I saw my son mature in front of me, the adventurous spirit grabbed hold of him, and the determination in his eyes showed me a new side of my growing son. He intended to conquer a wave.
I saw my son mature in front of me, the adventurous spirit grabbed hold of him, and the determination in his eyes showed me a new side of my growing son. He intended to conquer a wave.
This is the moment that I learned a valuable lesson about fatherhood. I learned the value of vicariously living through my son. The pleasure I received seeing my son pursue a challenge was more enjoyment than I have ever experienced riding a wave myself. I took my board to the sand and ditched it so I could go and help him get through and beyond the set.
As I waded out to meet Austin in the surf, God spoke to me and said, “This is a glimpse of how I feel about you when you pursue the purposes that I’ve called you to do. I have intentional focus on helping you succeed.”
As I helped my son navigate to the areas where the waves were not breaking, I saw a clear picture of God’s desire for me to succeed. Even though I never touched him, I gave my son instructions from a distance, telling him when to move, when to stand firm, when to put his head down and bust through the wave.
I’m reminded of how Jesus responded to Peter when they were facing a storm. Regardless of Peter’s inexperience in wave walking, especially during a storm, Jesus gave the invitation to step out and experience the adventure.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. – Matthew 14:29
That was a remarkable day for Austin and me. A day when we learned that life has storms, but it’s also a time to listen to the instructional voice of a father.
Keith Glines is social media strategist, an adventurer,
husband, father, and follower of Christ.