Dropping In: Experience The Life You Were Meant To Live
DAY 4 OF 7
Locals Only - Sharing The Story
Santa Barbara, California, is a special place. The people, the mountains, the food, the climate and culture make this small seaside town a real gem. Living in Santa Barbara for over ten years, I experienced its beautiful attributes, as well as some of its incredible beaches and surfing.
The curse of Santa Barbara surfing is the Channel Islands off its coastline. These islands block all south swells that would otherwise pour into Santa Barbara. So, surfers wait eagerly - and impatiently - for northwest swells that peel into the nooks and crannies along the coast.
During one swell, my neighbor and I went surfing. We parked on Highway 101, grabbed our surfboards, and hiked to the coast. A mile later, we looked at empty, perfect surf. We put our wetsuits on, scrambled down the cliffs faster than mountain goats, and surfed blissfully for three hours.
Hiking back, we spoke of the incredible surf. We were full of stoke as we relived each wave. This stoke didn’t last as we heard a voice from behind us, “Hey, you kooks (a kook is a negative term for someone who pretends they are a surfer)! Who the —— are you? What the —— are you doing?” A middle-aged man, with a large stick, was walking toward us. In no uncertain terms, he was telling us he did not appreciate our surfing ‘his’ spot.
Though the wave was on a public beach, this old guy with a stick was threatening us to keep quiet, “You guys better keep this secret!” He was clear that he did not want us ever again at ‘his surf spot.’
This bullying tactic is known as localism. Localism manifests itself through both verbal and physical abuse to keep people from surfing a particular beach. Unfortunately, I have seen localism all over the world. Whether it’s a crowded wave in California or Hawaii, a remote beach in El Salvador or Puerto Rico, or a reef only accessible by boat in Fiji, I have seen surfers threaten and physically assault someone for being at “their” spot.
Their point is to keep the wave a secret. They want no one to know of the beauty and stoke the particular wave brings.
In Christianity, we want to live the opposite - we want to tell everyone of the beauty and stoke of the Christian life. Christianity should never be secret!
About this Plan
What surfing represents is a feeling many call “stoke.” Stoke joy that comes from catching the perfect wave. God intends we have this kind of life - a life of spiritual stoke! Yet so often we settle for less. Dropping In...
We would like to thank Shane Sebastian for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: