By Rick Moore
After months of cool weather, and weeks of feeling cooped inside, many of us start to hear the call of the waves. If you close your eyes, it’s easy to picture the sandy beach calling you ashore. The feeling of the warm sun beaming down on your face beckons you. The breeze of fresh air blowing in the wind is summoning you. The scent of salt in the air invites you to relax. But above all these wonderful attributes of the Emerald Coast, there’s nothing that can compare to the waves. Riding a jet ski, surfing, or water skiing are just a few ways people can enjoy “catching waves.”
Leaving Destin Harbor and entering the Gulf of Mexico in any vessel can be a bit choppy at times. But head out fifty miles into the Gulf on a windy day, and you will discover what real adventure is all about. The difference between six foot waves and nine foot waves may not sound like much, but if you are ever in a boat with huge waves tossing you around, I hope you have some Dramamine to take. Suddenly, what is exciting can turn scary. While a wave can be fun and thrilling, there are many images taken of tsunamis that serve to prove waves can also destroy whatever is in their path.
There are real waves and then there are figurative waves. We will all experience both waves of grief, and waves of joy during our lifetime. We have little control over most of these waves. That is why we need waves of wisdom to guide us. By waves, I mean multiple sources of wisdom we can find to daily influence us. Wisdom can come from reading books, podcasts, good friends, family members and mentors.
According to an ancient myth, a student went to Socrates and asked to be taught wisdom. Socrates replies, “Walk with me.” The student followed Socrates across the sandy beach and into the waves. Suddenly, Socrates placed his hands on the young man’s head and quickly forced it under the water. The young man fought his way to the surface and began to gasp for air. Socrates released the student’s head, turned and walked away. The student was in shock. He asked the master, “Why would you do such a thing?” Socrates calmly replied, “When you desire wisdom as much as you desire to breathe, then you shall have it.”
As smart as Socrates was, his generation knew very little about waveforms. The radio waves that cause a stereo to play music from a local radio station were never experienced by Socrates. Likewise, there are many waves we do not understand today. We use terms to try and explain what we mean by saying “this person is putting off good vibes,” or “I get bad vibes from that person.” But are those real detectable waves? These “vibes” may sound mystical, but they are backed up with hard science. Research has proven that negative thoughts emit different brain waves than positive thoughts. The study of neuroplasticity has also shown a significant difference between positive and negative thoughts on brain development. Both physical and mental health are affected by our positive or negative brainwaves.
Wisdom is kind of like a radio that picks up on waves which may otherwise be undetected. We are constantly being bombarded by good and bad waves. Wisdom helps us identify what to tune into and what to tune out. It’s our choice which waves we want to listen to. Waves of wisdom beckon us to a place of bliss, removing the static from our life. While it may be uncertain when you will be able to enjoy water activities this season, here are a few “waves” you might want to catch: whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Perhaps this is a good time for all of us to “wave” goodbye to our negativity.
Rick Moore is Communications Pastor at Destiny Worship Center in Miramar Beach.