Surfing Theology & G.K. Chesterton | Don’t Feel Guilty for Recreating

A Bright Hope for Visionary Leaders from a 20th Century Poet

Usually this time of year, I start thinking about surfing in Costa Rica, or Samoa (my friend Wayne from Line Up Surf Australia leads tours here). G.K. Chesterton was a 20th century poet who probably never surfed, based on the pictures I’ve seen of him–he was one big, jolly dude. But something that he wrote in his book Orthodoxy, describes one of the great gifts that surf culture is to the world:

It is the happy man who does the useless things; the sick man is not strong enough to be idle.

Maninoa Surf Camp Samoa | Tours by Line Up Surf Australia

A Bright Hope for Visionary Leaders from a 20th Century Poet

Usually this time of year, in the dead of winter, I start thinking about surfing in Costa Rica, or Samoa (my friend Wayne from Line Up Surf Australia leads tours here). G.K. Chesterton was a 20th century poet who probably never surfed, based on the pictures I’ve seen of him–he was one big, jolly dude. But something that he wrote in his book Orthodoxy, describes one of the great gifts that surf culture is to the world:

It is the happy man who does the useless things; the sick man is not strong enough to be idle.

Jesus Wants to Get You Away to be Alone with Him.

Chesterton hits on one of the deep secrets of why outdoor recreation is so meaningful and transformational if coupled with a belief and awe in the God who created the mountains, waves, and skies under which we recreate. It takes courage to pause. Jesus modeled this rhythm of regular pausing. One time when was de-briefing an intense time of ministry with his disciples, he pulled them away for a mini-retreat:

They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, because he was teaching his disciples. -Mark 9:30

Have you ever thought about the fact that Jesus would like to get you alone? He loves to get us all by himself so he can speak to us and minister to our specific and personal needs. Leaders especially need to be reminded to get away and recreate for the health of their souls.

Here are a few other Scripture passages which may inspire you to put down your tool belt and go spend some time alone with Christ to learn from what you see and hear in his creation:

  • Job 9:8
    He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea.
  • Job 38:11
    ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’?
  • Psalm 42:7
    Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.
  • Psalm 65:7
    …who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations.
  • Psalm 88:7
    Your wrath lies heavily upon me; you have overwhelmed me with all your waves. Selah
  • Psalm 89:9
    You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them.
  • Psalm 93:3
    The seas have lifted up, O LORD, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.

Don’t Feel Guilty for Recreating!

I love coaching visionary leaders in ministry, and if I may be so bold, I actually think that pausing regularly to enjoy God and all that he has made around us is one of the things that  promotes longevity in ministry.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

5 thoughts on “Surfing Theology & G.K. Chesterton | Don’t Feel Guilty for Recreating

  1. Brother Ashley, we had such a wonderful trip with Kevin in Rwanda. I am one the leaders that would greatly benefit from your ministry! It was such a great honor for me to have Kevin to walk with me in my life journey to bring hope in Rwanda.

    Blessings,

    John Gasangwa

    •  Hey John! It is great to hear from you brother. I look forward to an opportunity to visit you as well. Thank you again for your wonderful hospitality with Kevin… I know this was a life-changing opportunity for him. I am so grateful for you John and your ministry in Rwanda. Maybe we should start planning now for a way that we can partner more in the future!  I look forward to staying in touch brother!

  2. This is a countercultural message, especially to those ministry leaders in developing countries who I think feel guilty when they aren’t working.  In my time in Rwanda I’ve had several conversations with key leaders who would benefit from this reminder.  Thanks bro!

    •  Hey Kevin,  Right on bro! Thanks for the reminder and encouragement. That means alot coming from you. I’m stoked to hear more about your research and work in Rwanda!

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