Pursuing Answers to Questions of Faith & Life

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Of Waves & Beetles--Lessons from Nature--Part 1

Rogue Wave Article

The above article in the New York Times is interesting. Here are a few excerpts from it talking about Rogue Waves. The article has several verifying stories and testimonies.

“Enormous waves that sweep the ocean are traditionally called rogue waves, implying that they have a kind of freakish rarity. Over the decades, skeptical oceanographers have doubted their existence and tended to lump them together with sightings of mermaids and sea monsters….
“But scientists are now finding that these giants of the sea are far more common and destructive than once imagined, prompting a rush of new studies and research projects….
“Drawing on recent tallies and making tentative extrapolations, Dr. Rosenthal estimated that at any given moment 10 of the giants are churning through the world’s oceans….
“By one definition, the titans of the sea rise to heights of at least 25 meters, or 82 feet, about the size of an eight-story building. Scientists have calculated their theoretical maximum at 198 feet — higher than the Statue of Liberty or the Capitol rotunda in Washington. So far, however, they have documented nothing that big. Large rogues seem to average around 100 feet.

There you are in relatively smooth sailing waters when all of a sudden a giant wave reminds you just how small you are in the ocean and how not-in-control you really are. The smooth sailing waters tend to create a sense of complacency in us, a sense of self-sufficiency, a smugness about the “life I have made for myself.” The waves remind us otherwise.

What helps improve our chance of survival in such an encounter?

1. Are we pointed in the right direction—ships that are not pointed into the wave, the ones that are broadsided are more likely to be knocked over. In life, the big question is whether we are going in the direction God wants us to go in our lives. If He is directing our paths and making them straight (Prov. 3:5-6) then we are able to hit the rogue waves head on—maybe still caught off guard, but still going in the right direction.
2. Are we constructed with Integrity—many of the ships experience damage when part of their construction is not strong enough or fails in some way—the doors are not secure, the windows burst, the seams buckle, etc. When the Rogue hits us, our spiritual integrity is shown. How much of our faith has built the person—when a strong faith builds—it doesn’t do a half-hearted job but puts on the full armor of God. Our trouble is that we sometimes take it for granted and take the armor off ourselves.
3. Awareness & Forecasting—if we are in certain areas, we know that the possibility is greater for us to get hit. We put ourselves in so much danger—morally, spiritually that it renders us weak and unprepared for the hits. We must be aware of where our danger is—we must be aware of the situations that can compromise us. Some of these waves we can avoid—others we walk right into. But be aware, some people assume that if they are fulfilling #1, then they won’t get hit—wrong assumption—sometimes being exactly where God wants you to be puts you on the front line, directly into the path.

Watch out for the rogue waves that life sends your way—smooth waters do not guarantee smooth sailing.

For a hint of tomorrow’s lesson from nature, identify this beetle.

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