Ever heard of a riptide? If you’ve ever been a lifeguard on a beach, or simply been the overprotective dad doing research before taking your kids, I’m betting you have. Riptides account for more than 80% of the rescues performed by beach lifeguards. It’s simple enough to understand. You’re at the beach, playing in the water, maybe you’ve had too much to drink or are simply lying on a raft, when suddenly you look around and realize that you are much further from the shore line than you were originally. A powerful undercurrent has pulled you slowly but surely away, and it can be very overwhelming and exhausting to get yourself back to the beach.
Riptides are a real and scary situation to be in, but a very similar phenomenon happens to many of us in our everyday lives. Each of us starts off in our own little spot, with firm footing and a pretty good grasp of where we’d like to go. However, as time goes on, we eventually get pulled this way and pushed that way, and one day we look around and realize that we are no longer anywhere near where we expected to be. It’s like life just takes us along for a ride, and if we aren’t careful we can end up very far away from shore, and suddenly our goals seem so far away.
It is important to understand that this is going to happen. There will always be challenges and obstacles that drive you this way and that. Unexpected events carry us away from our goals sometimes, but they don’t have to stop us. A quick search for how to escape a riptide will tell you that it is pointless to fight the current, and I think it is equally pointless to try and fight against every change in your life, because some of them will bring new opportunities. However, sometimes it’s good to do a quick check. Remember who you are, and where you want to be. Poke your head up and look around, and ask yourself if you’re still heading in the right direction, or if you need to escape the current.