If You gave Your life to love them...so will I
by Roy Harley, Christian Surfers International Director
For me, the Pipe Masters event is synonymous with late nights as it's literally on almost the exact opposite side of the planet from J-Bay. In spite of this, it was exhilarating to witness a very worthy John John Florence receive his second crown as the current reigning king of high-performance surfing. He and his cohort have certainly taken our sport to new heights, and I imagine that so many are looking at his equipment, asking advice and no doubt a plethora of grommies will be trying to bury that rail ensuring a wonderful future for power surfing.
All of this excitement and accompanying influence lead me to reflect, not on a surfing king and his temporal reign but on the eternal King of Kings. I found myself lost in wonder, not looking at a perfect rail carve on an ocean wave but captivated by the sea of stars as they stretch across my African sky. A celestial hallelujah trail in homage to their Creator and King.
I can't but worship because I am a beneficiary of His amazing grace, that saved a wretch like me. I have breathed in his gift of joyful life and forgotten a world of fear and death. This full life is why with the songwriter I sing:
"As the stars were made to worship, so will I. If the oceans roar Your greatness, so will I. For everything exists to lift You high...If You gave Your life to love them, so will I." (Hillsong)
A life given in love is as fleeting as a breath in time and this caused me to reflect on those moments of life and love experienced by our Christian Surfers clan this year.
I thought of Javier, whose testimony you can read in the new edition of the Spanish Surfers Bible. The poignancy of this is that it was the first edition of the Spanish Surfers Bible, given through a life that loved him, that created the opportunity for Javier to know and follow Jesus.
I thought of Marquito, our brother, who is one of our chaplains, and in spite of a broken hand traveled to Hawaii to pour out his life in love so that surfers can know and follow Jesus. I received this message from Marquito just last week: "Seven people understood the message and gave their lives to the Lord. We give them Bibles and these young people have already begun to attend weekly Bible studies..."
I thought of Groundswell Aid and our five global projects and mission partners, where lives of love are practically helping. Specifically, I thought of how through Groundswell Aid - Andre and Yvette from Hope House are going to be able to build a woodwork workshop because, through Christian Surfers, Groundswell was able to advocate for their project and one of our mission partners has decided to fund it. This means that Hope House will continue to pour out its love and life-changing impact on disadvantaged surf kids and their community in the townships of Mauritius. I also thought of Dave who through Groundswell Aid felt so connected with another mission partner Aleph Surf that he decided to pay the university fees for two young women for whom university was financially out of reach. Through lives of love, what started with a surf lesson by Aleph on the beach, near a township in J-Bay, will end with a legal graduate upholding the cause of the Kingdom bringing justice and hope for the less fortunate.
I also thought in wonder, how lives of love have been poured out through our CSALT students, now serving in multiple geographic locations, our Surf Church partners and their sandy feet friendly congregations, our national leaders across the globe championing His kingdom in a multiplicity of contexts. I thought of our Regional Coordinators and all their travel, and time away from family to empower this story of love all over the globe. I thought of our self-sacrificing board and our amazing back-office staff. I thought of our mission partners and their prayers and finances. And finally in explosive worship, every local mission leader, seeking to pour out their life of love so that every surfer and every surfing community will have opportunity to know and follow this King, Jesus. YEW!!!!
So as we surf our last wave into the sunsets of 2017 let us be determined to pour out our fleeting life of love again on all of our surfing tribe when we wake up to surf in 2018. And with the songwriter be brave enough to sing:
"If You gave Your life to love them...so will I."