Not Every Wave Is Worth Riding

With no other employment options at the time, my situation was not a happy one. My boss was making my life miserable. He was self-centered, ill-mannered, and crude; yet, like the clueless manager in the TV series The Office, he seemed to fancy himself everyone’s best friend. Whenever I tried to explain the things that disturbed me, he would listen attentively and thank me, but then he would go on as before, without even a token change in his behavior. I lodged a complaint with his supervisor, but still nothing changed.

It seemed I was doomed to work indefinitely in that stressful atmosphere with no control over incidents that ranged from mildly annoying to outrageous. One of the latter finally drove me to desperation. There was nothing I could do about the situation, but my anger was about to destroy me if I didn’t figure out how to manage it.

Thankfully, when I sought God’s help, He came through and showed me a little trick that helped me survive that stressful situation, as well as several similar ones since. Bringing to mind one of my favorite sports, body surfing, He showed me a picture of myself bobbing in the swells, waiting for a wave to ride. Surfers don’t try to ride every wave, but wait for those that are worth expending time and energy on. When lesser waves come along, instead of paddling furiously to try to get on top of them, they give a little scissor kick, which lifts them high enough in the water for the wave to pass beneath them, while they wait for one that is worth riding. Unpleasant incidents like the one that was getting me all worked up, I realized, were like those lesser waves. I should just let them pass.

Mental gimmick? Maybe. But it worked. With a little practice, I learned to float over those bothersome situations, rather than let them wear me out.