Recently, 60 people gathered in Huntington Beach to attempt a world record by catching the same wave on the same board. It looks like they had a good time, right?
It’s pretty impressive when people take on something together and pull it off. I’m sure you’ve been a part of some sort of team at work that pulled off the impossible, a group prank that was epic, an impressive season on a sports team, etc.
The truth is, we belong together. There’s no way you or I can explain who we are without attaching ourselves with at least one other person. “I” is always “we,” whether we want to admit it, or not.
Participating in life with one another is complex, right? There is a thin version of participation and a more robust version. Picasso, speaking of nostalgia, described it this way,
“One can honor his/her grandfather by wearing his grandfather’s hat or by becoming a grandfather.”
There is no “secondhand stoke” in the Christian life. We are a following and participatory faith, not just a cerebral and spectating faith. Christianity gets weird when the expression of our faith is relegated to posting an article on Facebook about an NBA player being bold in his faith even when he is warned against such behavior. Christianity is awkward when we can recite a system of beliefs that we marginally intend to put into practice.
Christian transformation happens when we unearth its truth within practice, in community, not just when we hear it in a lecture or read it in a book. Much like the the 60 on the massive surfboard at Huntington Beach, it’s a better experience to have surfed the wave than to stand on the shore and tell everyone you saw it.