My attention was arrested by a kite-surfer as he harnessed the pure energy of the fierce wind. The kiter flew to a curling wave, dropped in, carved up and down the face, and then soared up and out. He escaped back into the sky as the wave slammed shut, the curtain closed. Envy pumped through my veins as I got pummeled by the volatile whitewater from a wave. I paddled and duck dived to survive in the hectic blown-out surf. I wished I could fly to any wave like the kite-boarders, and then escape the brunt of the waves’ explosion. Instead, I fought with the ocean and grew fatigued working hard for every wave I rode. I collapsed on the beach and stared at the superhero-like kiters who decorated the sky and sea on the horizon; entranced and intrigued. I wasn’t content to stay on the sidelines watching for long.
The kite danced through the sky as I grasped the handle and guided it above my head. The sun stung my eyes, and I was careful not to make any sudden big movements. I was learning to kitesurf, and learning to manage the power of the mighty wind. I had learned how to generate power by lowering the kite into the power window and then moving it in a figure eight.
A kiter glided over the water and launched 40 feet into air and then did a complete flip before landing smoothly. I watched, jealous it would be ages before I could launch myself like that. A strong gust of wind blew and tugged at my kite. Suddenly, the kite was alive in the power zone, and as I kept the figure eight pattern, the kite powered up and pulled me out into the water. I sailed over the water and instinctually pulled the handle toward myself wanting to stop and regain control. This did the opposite of what I wanted to accomplish, and the kite powered up more and pulled me harder until I slammed down face first into the water. Finally I surrendered and let go of the handle. I was released from the power and the kite fell from the air to the river.
Romans 5:3-4, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us- they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation.”
While I knew to release the power I was supposed to let go, in the most crucial moment I pulled the handle towards me to try to regain control. However that was the worst thing I could do. I was embarrassed and frustrated, because even though I knew not to pull in and power up, I did it anyway.
I sat on the shore recovering from the high speed face plant, and realized how much this lesson related to my life and greater issues with control. Sometimes I want something so much, that I hold on to it too tight, or I try to manipulate situations to get my way. Usually the more I try to control the situation or try to get what I want, I become frustrated because I am reaching and pulling in my own power. I realize that the more I put my hands on it, the more disappointed I get when things don’t go the way I want. After I am exhausted and discouraged from trying to do things in my own power, I realize I need to rest in the promises of the Lord- that he has a perfect plan and perfect timing. All I need to do is relinquish the control and power I think I have and just let go.
“Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10
God is always in control, and His plans will always prevail. Even knowing this, sometimes the hardest thing to do is just be still. With clenched hands I try to grasp what I think I need or want. I am learning over and over again to let go and submit to what God wants. When I open my hands in surrender that he knows what is best for me, I find rest, the deepest freedom, and peace. And it is only with open hands I am open to receive all that he has for me.