January 27, 2023.
For the Lord will go ahead of you; yes, the God of Israel will protect you from behind. ~ Isaiah 52:12 ~ NLT
For the first time in seven years, the Eddie Aikau Big Surf Tournament at Waimea Bay on the North Shore of Oahu, was a go last Sunday. Luke Shepardson, a 27-year-old life guard beat out 40 professionals and local surfers clad in yellow jerseys with the words, “Eddie Would Go” as they attempted to surf 50 foot waves. Between rounds he returned to his guard station to protect swimmers.
The tournament is named for Eddie Aikau, a surfer and the first lifeguard on the North Shore, who rescued more than 500 people. He was part of a canoe voyage retracing three ancient Polynesian migration route between Hawaii and Tahiti in 1978, when the the vessel capsized, and he took his surfboard and paddled for shore to get help. The rest of the crew was rescued, but he was never seen again. His final act was one of service. The phrase “Eddie Would Go” became a symbol of courage, commitment, perseverance, and aloha.
I am reminded of Rebecca in Genesis, who said, “I will go,” when asked if she would consent to a marriage to Isaac. The Psalmist reminded the Israelites, “The Lord will go ahead of you,” even as the Lord went ahead of the Hebrews as they escaped slavery in Egypt. John reminded the early Christians the Jesus “became flesh and moved into the neighborhood.” Jesus did go!
Jesus commissioned the disciples to go, a commission that has been passed on to us. We can go, just like Eddie, just like Jesus, in acts of service big and small.
Eddie Would Go. I pray that we will too. ~ Anne