They splashed and they flopped, those aspiring windsurfers. Day after day we chronicled their struggles. It looked simple enough: a surfboard, a detachable sail with a length of rope tied to it, water, wind and, of course, instruction.
But the sail would go flat on the water, with the surfer splashing into the water on the other side. Or the surfer would jump into the water to avoid being clobbered by the mast.
Then the surfer would struggle to board again, try to balance, try to pull the sail back to position–then plop!
The next summer a few surfers had more or less mastered the art of windsurfing. With surprising skill, they skimmed around on the water, even on rough days. We watched them aid a fallen surfer, we heard them shout encouragement to one another.
One person could maneuver his craft wherever he wanted it to go. He was, we later discovered, the instructor.
When the instructor spoke, the surfers listened and tried to do what he said. Windsurfing is a skill to master through unending patience and dogged determination.
Like windsurfing, living the Christian life looks simple. But it is not easy. Someone has said that the perseverance of the saints consists in ever new beginnings. So we who are mature in the Christian walk need to be quick to help the one who has fallen, and quick to encourage one another.
We all need to work at mastering the art of Christian living and to study our Book of Instructions. We all need to listen attentively when our Instructor speaks and promptly follow His instructions.
Taken by permission from “Legacy of a Pack Rat,” by Ruth Bell Graham ©1989 the Ruth Graham Literary Trust.