You paddled out, are in the line up, sitting on the outside because that’s where the real sets are breaking. You wait your turn for a decent wave: paddle, pop, the wave it setting up and you surf a clean conservative ride. Nice first wave, that’ll show everyone around that doesn’t know me that I know what I’m doing and I’ll get better priority now since it’s a bit crowded.
A guy that looks about your age, maybe a year or two younger and seems like an advanced beginner paddles over and says, “Nice ride, but if you keep your back arm in front of your body a bit more you’ll be in a better position to keep up your speed and trim.” Excuse me you think to yourself?! Who are you to be giving me advice? You want to further elaborate out loud, but you have your CS sticker on your board and all, so you smile and nod, say “Thanks bro,” and paddle to a different peak.
Unsolicited advice is hard to hear, hard to swallow, irritates most of us and often we can’t stop thinking about what was said by the know-it-all who said it. I know I’m guilty of being the giver of unsolicited advice on a few occasions. The many times I’ve been on the receiving end sure does remind me how unpleasant it can be. It also reminds me of Ezra 7:10 “For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.”
Ezra was a priest and scribe and chosen by God to do some important, hard work. He was chosen in part because he was so faithful and obedient to God’s word, therefore given an important job. The revealing thing about Ezra is in 7:10 is that he applied God’s word to himself first, before preaching it to others.
Our challenge as Christians, is to be out in the line up around those who don’t know him, so that we can show love to them, and share Him. But before we can be effective in sharing, we need to apply God’s word to ourselves, pray about how He can shape us to be more like Him, and take action.
Maybe then as we grow we’ll be given more and more important tasks, be asked for surfing tips, or more importantly, the lost in the lineup will recognize us as Christians who live like Christ, love like Christ, and then ask us about relationship with Christ.