I loved swimming in the sea as a child; I especially loved being out in the big waves. One particular morning, those big waves were rolling in, harbingers of a storm churning down the coast. I felt strong and alive, ducking under the biggest swells, bounding over the smaller ones. Suddenly, I noticed that my cousins were not with me. I looked for the shoreline—and it was far away and receding quickly. I had been caught in a rip tide.
In the distance I could see my mother and aunt stand up in alarm. They sensed my panic; their clothes were flying; they were coming in. I waved to them and they waved their arms fiercely, sending me down the beach. Then I remembered the first rule of rip tides: Surrender to the current, don’t fight it. Swim parallel to the shore for a while, and you will swim out of the rip. I surrendered and started swimming down shore, following my mother as she waved and walked, shouting encouragement. I made my way out of danger and finally into her arms.
This is not a story about swimming, but a story about surrender and love. My only choice was to surrender and let love pull me in.
This message was adapted from “The Secret to Self-Control” written by Martha E. Stortz that first appeared in the May 2006 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.