A few months ago, I busted my head while surfing. Eight stitches required.
It was an embarrassing walk of shame to the beach. Blood flowed like a running faucet. You would have thought I was attacked by a shark.
I was surfing my 9’6 retro style longboard with a glassed in single fin. A beautiful board. It’s behemoth, though. So big, you dread carrying it from the car to the beach and vice versa.
It cracked me. I attempted a wave too late. Bailed at the last second. The water was shallow. I pushed the board out in front to avoid it nosediving into the sand. As I gathered myself to stand, it collided with my head.
I was confused. I didn’t have answer for why it happened.
It wasn’t because I suffered a concussion. I was coherent. My thoughts were straight.
I was befuddled how the board could have come back at me so quickly with such great force. I mean, the waves were small. I made sure to bail to the side and push it the other way.
Eventually, I came to accept it as lack of skill.
The real answer to my questions came later. Several months later.
The wave report called for small, rideable waves. I chose the same longboard.
It was my first time in the water with it since the accident. I was gunshy. Playing it safe is probably an understatement.
I was determined to avoid embarrassing myself a second time. I was choosy on my wave selection. Any resemblance to the one that got me before was out of the question.
I caught a nice little wave. A short drop and even shorter ride. I gracefully jumped off at the end. I released the board and “Bam!”, it violently snapped back at me.
Then it hit me. No, not the board. The explanation.
My leash is too short. The board was a Christmas gift from Brooklyn. She didn’t think to order a leash with it. Saving time and money, I decided to use the leash attached to my 8 foot board.
I figured it would work until I got around to buying one with appropriate length. Nope. Wrong decision.
Maybe the answer should have been obvious, but it wasn’t. It took time, experience, and the right context to discern.
As I’m learning, the same applies to relationships, work, parenting, and faith.
The answer isn’t always obvious at first.
To discover, you will probably need some time, some perspective, some hands on experience, some close calls, and some humility.
The toughest area of your life to learn this will probably be with your faith. You expect easy answers from God. And, you expect it now. God is faithful to provide an answer. The problem is your impatience with the process.
The answer isn’t always obvious. Don’t give up, it’s there. You just need to give yourself the space to pass through a lived-experience to find it.