Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Ripple Effect: Jesus-Centered Surfing

Christian surfers. Does it describe your basic beach person who throws in a church service on the side, and perhaps a prayer before entering the water, or maybe displaying a “fish” symbol on that microbus or trusty pick-up?

At CSUS, we believe there’s more to it than that (though none of those things are wrong). It’s just that surfing begs for a deeper and greater spiritual expression. Such an expression takes us beyond that next wave to what is true and beautiful with regards to God’s natural, external world: full of offshore days, golden sunsets, and the raw power of storm driven swells. And also what is true and beautiful with regard to our internal world, the world of our soul.

The great hope and focus of CSUS is a message of Good News: God loves us, and he can be known. All that is broken in our lives and in this world can be redeemed. We can escape the small stories of our selfish pursuits and hard-hearted pride, and get caught up in the big story of what God is doing… here, right now.

God is drawing Christian surfers everywhere to live Jesus-centered lives, and in doing so, having a transformational effect on everyone in line up. This is not dependent on each surfer’s skill--the ability to throw in new-school moves with old-school flow. It’s more about how we connect with Jesus in and around the water. Christian surfers who truly seek to integrate their faith into their surfing are the ones who will cause a “ripple effect.”

You’ve seen the ripple effect at work, havn’t you? Go ahead, throw a big rock in a pond, and watch as waves,--real waves--are created. It’s simply a small-scale version of how our Creator God brews storms from distant places, that in time approach our shores. From one storm, impact is felt on countless shores. You are never really sure where its influence will end.

And so it is with us: surfers who are called out by God to make waves,--not because our speech is confrontational (though at times it need be) but because our lives are compelling. Just as Jesus said they should be: like salt that flavors a meal, like a torch that lights a pathway.

In the weeks to come, you’ll be exposed to some practices that, should you trust God to embrace them, promise to link soul (your inner life) to your surfing.

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