“Paddle, paddle, paddle.”
This is a surf analogy, but even if you don’t surf, go with me on this for a minute.
In surfing the ultimate goal is to catch the wave. There are many steps in this process, but one of the most important steps is paddling for the wave. This is so that when the waves reaches you, you will have increased your forward momentum enough to get “picked up” by the wave and delivered into a sweet ride.
Yesterday I was paddling for a wave. My arms were tired and I thought I was paddling as hard as I could. I heard someone say to me, “Paddle, paddle, paddle.” I looked up briefly to see a local surf legend egging me on.
In my head I thought, But I am paddling. I’m tired… and so on. The wiser part of me realized that when a surf legend tells you to paddle, you don’t think too much about it. You just paddle harder.
So I did.
And I caught the wave. Or the wave caught me, however you choose to look at it.
This small experience in exhaustion, encouragement, and trust reminded me how this happens in “real” life also.
We are trying to accomplish something. We get tired. We get more than tired. We get exhausted, depressed, discouraged. We think about giving up.
Out of the blue we hear encouragement. Encouragement to keep trying. To try harder.
That’s not what we want to hear. We want to hear, You’ve made it. You’ve arrived. Relax.
The thing about trusting other people when they tell us, Just a little longer, Try a little harder, You’re almost there, is that they often have a perspective that we don’t.
We are in our moment, in our lives. We are increasing our momentum so that we can catch the wave of our life, or get caught by it.
We can’t always see what’s behind us, around us, or how close we are because we are so intent on where we are going.
When I paddled harder than I thought possible for the wave, I felt like, even if I catch this wave, my arms are so exhausted, I won’t be able to lift myself up once I catch it.
I had no energy left when I caught the wave, but I lifted myself up miraculously. I still don’t know how. There was some strength left that I didn’t know was there.
This is the power of encouragement, whether we give it to someone or receive it.
This is the strength we find when we explore the edge of our power. When we don’t give up, give in, or give out.
When we summon strength we didn’t know we had, we can lift ourselves up when we didn’t think we could.
Where could you use a little encouragement? Is it a direction you’re already going or one you’d like to go in?
Paddle, paddle, paddle.