Friday, June 15, 2012

MyHodgePodgeLife: Riptide

MyHodgePodgeLife: Riptide


Have you ever gotten caught in a riptide/current?  My youngest daughter got caught in a strong undertow once, and it was a terrifying event.  My brother-in-law almost lost his life that same day while rescuing his children from the powerful riptide.  Riptides seem to hit us out of nowhere - just like events in life.

The definition of riptide or undertow is " a strong undercurrent in the ocean, contrary to the direction of surface water."

Receiving the shocking news earlier this month that I will lose my job at the end of the month was as unexpected as someone at the beach who gets caught in a riptide.  The direction I thought I was going is contrary to where the current of life is leading.

What are we supposed to do when we get caught in a riptide? Several Internet searches yield the following advice:

"Do not swim toward shore.
You will be fighting the current, and you will lose.
Swim parallel to shore, across the current.
Generally speaking, a riptide is less than 100 ft. wide, so swimming beyond it should not be too difficult.
If you cannot swim out of the riptide, float on your back and allow the riptide to take you away from shore until you are beyond the pull of the current.
Rip currents generally subside 50 to 100 yards from shore.
Once the riptide subsides, swim parallel to shore and then back to shore."

What do we usually do when we get caught in a riptide? Panic!  We forget everything we've read or learned, flail our arms and fight the current.  Most drowning deaths during riptides are due to exhaustion from fighting the current.

I know this riptide of my life does not come as a surprise to God.  Rather than panic and fight the current, exhausting myself, I'll follow the advice given to those who get caught in a riptide.  I'll "rest in Him" and try to relax as this riptide takes me away from the career I've had for the past 12 years.  As the shock of the riptide subsides, I'll swim "parallel to the shore" and I will get back to shore in God's timing.  That shoreline will look different than the one I left, but it will be the shoreline God intends me to land on.

Maybe this is the next shoreline God is leading me to?

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"Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you. You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, You still them." Psalm 89:8-9