Photo:  Jeff Fennell

I’ve spent a good deal of my life exploring foreign coastlines in pursuit of waves. I feel very blessed that I can even say that, especially because I realize what a trivial pursuit it is in light of the issues that face many people today. For a number of years though, surfing and surf exploration held a high priority in my life. I gave them great significance, even subconsciously seeking some form of fulfillment in them. It’s only now that I can look back in appreciation for how blessed I was but also a little embarrassed at how foolish I was as well. 

As far as worldly pursuits go, I think surfing is a great one. It allows the participant the ability to experience nature, to be humbled, and to stay active and young. But like everything else in life, it cannot provide fulfillment and purpose. It is destined to leave you wanting more. Too many times in life I've taken a blessing and tried to find fulfillment in it. Perhaps it’s human nature to do this, to take those blessings we cherish in life and seek our satisfaction in them. It doesn’t help that our culture seems to constantly promote this mentality. Society tells us to “live our truth,” to find what makes us happy and pursue it with reckless abandon. Don’t get me wrong, happiness is a good thing. The problem is that the only happiness this world can offer is counterfeit happiness, momentary happiness. It cannot offer anything of substance, anything that will last. Every form of happiness that doesn’t have it’s source in the living, eternal, and true God will ultimately run out. For God is the only source of eternity, and so if we want lasting fulfillment, lasting happiness and joy, then it must originate in God. 

It is the man dying of thirst that knows the value of water. Society offers us soda for our thirst, and for a time we are content with it’s artificial refreshment. But soon we realize it just makes our dehydration worse. It wasn’t until I realized that even God’s blessings can’t provide ultimate fulfillment and true satisfaction. They are blessings to be sure, but only He can satisfy the thirst of my soul. This realization has allowed me to enjoy His blessings even more. Blessings like surfing are now enjoyed for what they are meant to be, instead of trying to make them what they are not.