Sunday, April 24, 2011

Getting Back on that Horse

I took my youngest daughter on a mommy/daughter date Friday night. She chose the movie, Soul Surfer. It is a true story about a 13 year old girl named, Bethany Hamilton, who lost her left arm from a shark attack. (She is a professional surfer.)
          The storyline, the message and the main actors were all great. (Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt are the parent actors.) Even more awesome than any of that, was the spiritual messages given throughout the movie. It was a breath of fresh air to hear the mentioning of Jesus, especially on this important weekend. Incredible faith and a beautiful testimony of a life lived for the right purposes were portrayed from start to finish. It is so refreshing to see people attempting to live the way God called us to do.
          I was quite impacted by Bethany’s perspective.
In the hospital, soon after she woke from surgery from the attack, she wanted to know when she could get back in the water. When asked if she was not afraid to get in the water, she replied that she was MORE afraid not to get back in because that meant she could no longer surf. The shark took her arm . . . not her will, her purpose, her desires or her driven spirit. She was back in the ocean, learning to surf with one arm in a month after the attack.
Her question made me think from 2 different perspectives. Mine personally and as a parent.
#1- Would I EVER get back in the water after a shark attack?
#2- Would I allow one of my kids to get back in the water after such an incident?

The truthful answer? All signs point to no.
I know this because of how I live my life now. I am still held captive by past tragedy and fears.
For example; When I was about 5ish, I was on a horse, he reared up and lost his balance . . . falling over on me.
I steer clear of horses and my kids have never been on one; yet, my sister and her children barrel race horses and have a stable. It seems that would have inched us past the fear . . .
Then, also when I was very young; I was playing outside with my friend one day. I stayed on the ground as she scurried up the tall steps of her deck. When she made it to the top, her flip flop got caught and she fell from the 2nd story down to the concrete patio. I watched it all . . . She was unconscious and had to be taken away by ambulance. (She was okay in the end.)
Presently, my kids and I do not use the steps from our 2nd floor sunroom. They have been taught to fear steps of a sundeck as I do.

Today, we went up and down those steps. Granted, I am still in no hurry to hop on a horse . . . Baby steps! The bottom line is that I have a choice. I can allow bad things from my past to govern my future, OR I can decide to over rule the memory.

A cool scenario was portrayed in the movie . . .
Bethany went to Thailand in an attempt to help the tsunami victims. When she walked along the ocean’s shoreline, she saw surfboards everywhere . . . but, no one was in the water surfing.
Because they recently had their entire lives shred and destroyed BY that water . . . No one wanted to “play” in it. To them, it looked and represented something terrible and dangerous.
True, at one point, the ocean’s wrath was in full rage and it was not a time to surf. But, that time had passed. The same ocean of devastation was the same ocean of peace . . . Just like “LOVE.” Love is what brings out greatest joys, AND is responsible for our greatest sorrows.
The mighty ocean seems to be perfect; a glimpse of heaven. Then we are astonished as we watch it transform right before our eyes. It lies peacefully within its boundaries, and in a matter of moments . . . becomes a fierce force that cannot be tamed. We all have to take cover as the water unites with the wind, forming into a beast and rages upon land destroying everything in its path.
Which cause more destruction? The tsunamis and hurricanes of the land and ocean? OR the tsunamis and hurricanes of love and the heart?
The ocean can be a place of peace and leisure as we lie in a state of relaxation on a float. Yet, that same ocean can be the cause of someone’s death. A person can swallow the water in the ocean, but can also be swallowed by the water of the ocean.
It is a difficult journey to move past a devastating time and/or fear, but more devastating to be trapped by it and in it for the remainder of our time here on earth.

There has been a topic on my mind for awhile and just happened to be the topic at church this morning. Go figure!! Soooo, I am now participating in a class about living as though I only have 30 days. (Read “Dancing and Singing with a Cowbell in Chicago.”) I will blog about it. Join me in the journey!

Making the most of my life . . . I’ve got a legacy to leave,

1 comment:

  1. I have been held captive by fear and still am to varying degrees. I noticed that when I am most fearful (and its usually not the most frightening thing, going on in my life) - I am replying on myself to solve the problem, when I have serenity - I am relying on God. To me - it is that simple. I say to myself - Who I am to put limits on what God can do! - (when faced with seemly impossible odds) - and I just need to do the next right thing (the thing in front of me) and - if it is God's will - it will happen. He is ultimately in the results business and my business is to take the action that I believe is in line with his will - not my will.

    Fear is then conquered. I have a deal with God - I turn over my will over to him and also my life and he takes care of me. My job is to then see how I can be most useful helping others and doing his will. Hey - maybe I should be a teacher of students with disabilities - learning and emotional. I have disabilities and faced my problems in my life and maybe I can teach to them how I over came them to reach goals. Well that is exactly what I started out to do 3 yrs ago and today - it is my "Dream Job" Since I am going to be OK (that's God's definition of OK not mine) I don't need to worry about myself and can stay focused on my task.