I was perusing the magazine rack at Chapters the other day, and one magazine caught my eye. There on the left-hand side of the page, in big black type the words "Nature = God*" "Hmmm... interesting" I thought to myself, and I bought it. I probably would have picked up the July issue of Surfing Magazine anyway, but now this really had me curious. I grabbed the magazine and quickly turned to page 126 to check out the feature article. It begins with the author reminiscing about how whenever he encounters crisis he surfs. When his grandfather passed away he hit the beach. When he found out his Dad had cancer, he went straight to his local break. The ocean was his "church." I find that very interesting. I'm very similar in that some of my best times with God (lately) have been when I'm at the beach, getting in an early morning session. There's something about being in the water, and experiencing the beauty of the sky and sea that stirs something up inside of me.
The author actually writes about going to a real church, Church of The Outer Banks, and how it really impressed him. The pastor began with a simple prayer in which he said: "we just want to feel your presence God." That line stuck with the writer and he claims that what surfing does. When's he's out riding a wave, big or small, he feels God's presence. It's actually a very interesting read, and almost an advertisement for Christianity.
In the pages following the feature story, they interview seven surfers about what they believe and one surfer, CJ Hobgood, goes all evangelist on the guys. He gives the whole salvation message and talks about how he is just as messed up as everyone else, but he has a relationship with Jesus Christ and has been redeemed through the cross. CRAZY! In a surf magazine! It was pretty sweet. Way to go CJ!
If you have some time to kill, go to Chapters, pick up the magazine, and just read that one story.