Nina Joan

‘Wipe Out’

A few months ago I captured this photograph of a surfer falling off his board. During the editing process of this photo I realised there was a lesson to be learned in this photograph. This is what the photograph taught me.

A surfer waits patiently for the perfect wave to come along, they spend numerous hours in the water waiting for their moment to catch the perfect wave. So great is their anticipation that time is irrelevant. Once the surfer catches their wave the enjoyment and passion is seen on their faces during the exhilarating run. Surfers spend time practicing their technique learning how to ride the waves. During these times of learning there will always be times when the surfer crashes into the ocean and ‘wipes out’. It is inevitable fact. It is also the same in life. Life was never meant to be an easy swim in the ocean, where would the point that be? Life if full of challenges and opportunities to let us grow and learn. These times in our lives catapult us into learning new things and becoming wiser, better people.

There are always moments in our lives where we ‘wipe out’. These times are unquestionably painful not only to us but to others around us. Sometimes no matter how hard we try to avoid a ‘wipe out’  we automatically end up ‘wiping out’. Why is this so? It is one of the great questions of the universe. I’m sure God knows the reasons for our many failings and reasons which we as humans would like to know. But God in His infallible wisdom guides and leads every moment in our lives. Yes, we do fail and ‘wipe out’ (that is the problem with being mortals) yet, we have grace and the opportunity to try again. When we ‘wipe out’ on a wave we can get back on the surfboard and catch the next wave.

We have all seen waves gracefully glide past from the shore line on the beach, few have ridden waves and seen their splendor up close. They are a marvellous, natural beauty. However, waves, do not last for long, they inevitably and majestically crash into the shore. Our lives won’t always have a perfect run for years. Life is a journey of good times and times where we ‘wipe out’. What we need to understand is that God has a purpose for every moment in our lives, it is our purpose to do our best with the life He has given us.


It is so easy to let our lives consume us body, spirit and soul. The pressures, disappointments and the bad times in life can so easily destroy us. But there is only one thing that will always see us through these times. Hope. Hope is something that we cannot be given and something that can never be taken away. No matter how dark, pointless or lonely life may seem, there is a purpose for which God put all of us on this planet. God gave us all the ability to hope for a better day, hope for the good times and most importantly the hope of eternal life with Him. Regardless of who we are, what we have come from or the bad things we have been through, we all have the ability to hope. If we choose to hope, it will change our lives forever.

‘We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.’
— Martin Luther King Jr.

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