Friday, January 17, 2014

Catching a Wave

Recently singer-songwriter Dessa was interviewed on The Splendid Table, a radio show about food and cooking. I don't know Dessa or her music but she said one thing in the interview that was such a perfect turn of phrase that I've been turning it over in my mind ever since I heard it. When asked where her inspiration for her songwriting comes from she said "It's more like catching a wave than going to the well." That is pure poetry!

I think this is an apt description of faith as well. The waves roll by and, depending where you are in the expanse of the surf, this wave or that may be your ride to shore. It's probably not the same wave that the surfer 100 yards south of you will catch, but even if it is, your ride will be different. Faith is an experience, not a task.

This is what makes it crucial for parents to speak the language of faith to our children. We cannot simply take our children to the font to be baptized, and then bring them to the well for a drink once a week. Once we've taken them to the font, it's time to take them down to the shore to get their toes wet. That will look different for each family, and for each individual within your family, but everyone has to get wet or they'll never get a chance to ride that wave to shore.

Some families go to the shore by way of devotional time at home. Others go by spending time in nature, marveling at God's great creation. Still others find their wave in serving people in need, and others in making music together. Whatever it is, it might be your wave, or your child's wave, and you need to speak the language of faith into the experience so that your child understands faith is not a chore performed on Sunday morning, it is the experience of life itself.

Just as you need to drink or bathe daily, you also need to splash around in your baptism everyday. Make it an intrinsic part of your daily routine. Remember your baptism in your shower; give thanks for the food you eat; pray for the passenger in the ambulance; trust God and take a risk.

The surfer goes to the beach expecting to be challenged, expecting to take a risk. The person going to the well expects to find the water waiting, still and compliant, ready to be contained in a bucket or jar. The waves at the beach cannot be contained in a bucket - they are wild, powerful, and magnificent. God will take you to still waters, and will carry you to shore. Catch a faith wave and see where it takes you.

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