The ocean has claimed its share of ambitious surfers. Some victims learned tough and lasting lessons simply by underestimating its strength. Others spend a lifetime respecting and conquering waves – then one day, by no fault of their own, they paddle out for the last time – forever remembered as one who loved the sea.
Author, Christopher Paolini describes the ocean this way, “The sea is emotion incarnate. It loves, hates, and weeps. It defies all attempts to capture it with words and rejects all shackles. No matter what you say about it, there is always that which you can’t.”
I agree. It’s a consistent force that cannot be tamed – just like the one who created it.
The surfing community is a tight-knit group with connections that span the globe. Anytime a fellow surfer dies the community mourns. Often memorial plaques mark the spot where a life was ended.
One surfer is remembered on the island of Kauai with multiple handmade signs located up and down the small island’s coastline. The sign simply says, LIVE LIKE SION. It obviously does more than memorialize the place where the surfer died – it’s a statement, the summary of a life.
Local Kauai ‘an, Sion Milosky was 35 when he died in CA at the Mavericks big wave surf contest. He was a husband and dad of two small children. Sion’s legacy lives on, through his signage.
I wonder if Sion would think his life was worth following. Would he suggest we live like him in light of his untimely and tragic death?
The handmade signs made by his friends suggest we follow Sion’s example of bravery, fortitude and give-it-your-all lifestyle. I’m challenged to ask myself who I want to live like.
I can’t say I have the kind of courage it takes to crest a fifty foot wall of water on a thin piece of foam to scale down its face at 30-40MPH – all the while hoping it doesn’t come crashing down on me. It’s no wonder there’s only a handful of brave souls who actually do that.
However, I do strive to follow one who did even greater heroic acts. His father left signs encouraging us to do as he did. His signs are written in the indelible ink of his son’s blood. He also lived a shorter than average life – however he willingly took his last wave, giving his life up in order to write the sign, LIVE LIKE ME.
The sea is just one of the many portraits he left of his indescribable, incredible self. No matter how simple our life might seem, how ordinary – just following his signage has rewards – and points to a place of adventure on the untamable sea of his calling.
“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens above – deeper than the depths below. They measure longer than the earth and wider than the sea.” Job 11:7-9