HOME CONNECT BLOG

Two Brothers and the Ocean

Two brothers grew up in a family who lived by a great ocean.

As young boys they were mesmerised by the sight of the waves crashing and the lull of the tides coming in and going out. They felt a deep love for the ocean, but were warned by their parents about the dangers that the ocean and its waves held - the crushing weight that the waters can bring. Waves that steal a man’s breath, and then his life.

Despite these warnings they still enjoyed watching the ocean, getting lost in the rhythm of its tides.

"The force of the water pressed down until they thought it would never stop"

Until one day when their curiosity overcame them, and they decided to go out and swim in the waves, but a wave surprised them and threw them to the bottom. The force of the water pressed down until they thought it would never stop. Unconsciousness was taking them when the wave finally passed, but just as the brothers reached the surface and gulped in a breath the next wave was on them and they were pulled down again. Three waves threw them to the bottom before they finally managed to get back to the shore.

Lying there on the shore, the salt stinging their eyes and throats, lungs burning with every breath, the brothers each made a decision that would change their lives. The first decided he would never again set foot in the ocean. He will stay where it is safe. The second however dedicated himself to making the ocean safe for himself and everyone else - he would stop the waves!

So the very next day the second brother started building a great deck out in the ocean to keep it flat and prevent the waves from forming. But every night the the tide would rise and break apart all that he had built.

The first brother watched, and shook his head, and went back inside.

Next, the second brother tried to span a great sail in front of the waves to stop then reaching the shore, but the wind would pick up and rip his great sail apart.

The first brother watched, and shook his head, and went back inside.

Then finally the second brother came up with a brilliant idea - he started building a wall out in the water to stop the waves. It went well at first, but inevitably as he would make progress, a storm would come up and wash away all the work he’d done.

The first brother watched, and shook his head, and went back inside.

After all his efforts had failed, the second brother was in anguish. He had failed to protect himself and everybody from the waves. People would never be able to safely go into the ocean. That night he fell asleep a broken man.

The next morning, before the sun had even risen, the brothers were woken by the sound of laughter. They walked out to investigate the source of the sound, and on reaching the beach they saw the strangest sight - there in the ocean was an old man, sitting on a wooden board in the water! The brothers could scarcely believe what they were seeing, and immediately started shouting and waving at the old man to warn him about the dangers of the waves!

it’s too big for any man to control. You have to accept it as it is, with all its waves, and learn to enjoy it!

The strange old man saw their antics and started paddling back to shore, but a wave reared up behind him, and would surely crush the old man! Then as the wave started cresting, the old man jumped up on his board, and expertly rode in front of the wave all the way to shore, laughing as he went.

Standing on the shore, the brothers couldn’t believe their eyes, and when the old man came on to shore they ran to him, and in a flutter told him their story.

The old man listened patiently, and when the brothers had finished, he smiled, shook his head and said: “Dear friends, you are missing out on all the ocean has to give! Avoiding it just keeps you from enjoying its gifts, and trying to change the ocean is futile - it’s too big for any man to control. You have to accept it as it is, with all its waves, and learn to enjoy it!” Then the strange old man picked up his board, and looking back asked: “Would you like me to teach you how?”

Many people have a similar experience in their lives. Life doesn’t go according to plan - things happen, they fall apart, we get crushed. And then we often choose to pull away from the world, stay safely away from any risks, or we try to control everything, change life so that there aren’t any risks.

accept that we can not control or predict it, and that sometimes we’ll get roughed up a bit

The problem is that in either case we miss out. We either don’t partake in life at all, or we become so busy trying to control everything that we miss out on the wonder of creation. If we want to be happy; if we want to get the most out of life, we have to accept that we can not control or predict it, and that sometimes we’ll get roughed up a bit. Anyone who has ever tried some surfing will know that you don’t just get on the board and get it. You fall a few times. (or a few hundred times for some of us) You get some salt water up your nose, and some sand up other places. But as you drop in on that wave and feel the exhilaration of riding it, you realise it was all worth it!

If you want to be truly alive, you must learn the same lesson as the two brothers. You have to learn to ride the ups and downs in life, take the world as it comes, and then realise that as you do life becomes an amazing - excuse the pun - life changing experience.

Copyright 2017 Crest Life Coaching