“Now this is eternal life: that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” — John 17:3
I grew up with parents who were absolute ski fanatics. But as soon as the seasons changed, we were on the beach. While my parents were out on the waves windsurfing, my brother and I would be combing the beach, watching our parents. Today, that scene is reversed.
Living in Maui — the mecca of windsurfing — we are out in the ocean every day. When we were in high school, my brother and I started getting recognized for our sport. Soon, opportunities opened up for us to travel and pursue this sport as a career. While my brother chose another path, I was all in. At age 15, I went pro and poured a lot of time and energy going to tradeshows and doing all the things that weren’t so fun, but necessary, to excel in my sport.
While on the road, I was hit with the contrast of two different lives I could live: that of the world and that of God. You see, I grew up going to church with my family, but it was never as real to me until I saw the drastically different life lived outside Christian faith.
At age 17, as I began to notice the contrast between the value system of the world and that of which I read in my Bible, I felt God’s conviction and calling for my life. At age 20, I got baptized. As I continually pursued Christ’s calling on my life, I started to find much more enjoyment in my sport. Suddenly, I was able to use my talent for His glory and purpose instead of my own.
God has blessed me with incredible opportunities. When you engage in extreme sports, you tend to ride on such a high during competition. But if you do this for a long period of time, you begin to wonder what the purpose is. It can suddenly turn into a negative, self-interested experience.
I’ve watched many athletes go through that, but as I started sharing my faith and giving God glory through windsurfing, I felt a great peace and purpose, knowing I was doing exactly what God has intended for me to do with my life. When you know you’re bringing God glory with what you’re doing, there’s a whole lot more reward in the end.
For me, being out in nature is a connection to sanity. The quietness of nature and the beauty of all God has created is the picture of a greater meaning for life. It’s the reconnection I desperately need in this world. The more I connect with nature, the more I feel His presence.
He’s been with me in the ocean for so many years, watching over me through some really serious situations and some tough performances. He’s blessed me in spite of my faults and I owe everything to Him.
— Levi Siver, professional windsurfer
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