Today was one of the "week-days" that was so great . . . it felt like it belonged to the weekend!
We ditched work and class, slept over by Sunset Beach, and woke up at 5am to walk 3 miles to Waimea to watch the Eddie Aikau surf competition.
The waves for this competition have to reach monumental size, faces of 40 feet or more-- or the competition will not be held. The last time it happened was my first year in Hawaii in 2009. It hasn’t happen since and I was hoping to close my Hawaii time with the competition again. Sadly, the waves did not make the cut today and the event was canceled.
It was still pretty amazing to see the state of Hawaii crowd together and gather to watch this unique memorial competition for Eddie Aikau. Literally thousands came together today in hopes to see these waves and remember Eddie. The energy of this morning was pretty great-- and all before the sun came up.
When I first moved to Hawaii, I learned about Eddie Aikau and his courage. I saw several shirts and bumper stickers that would say “Eddie Would Go.” It wasn't long after when I asked someone and learned about this legend. He was a great surfer and a lifeguard in Hawaii. The saying came from the fact that Eddie would go when no one else would, or could. Eddie just did. In 1968 he became the first lifeguard hired by the City and County of Honolulu to work on the North Shore. Not one life was lost while he served as lifeguard of Waimea Bay, as he braved waves that often reached 30 feet high or more.
Image from: http://ilovesurfing.org/love-surfing-legends-eddie-aikau/
In 1971 Eddie Aikau was named Lifeguard of the Year. He loved guarding when he wasn't surfing and chasing the waves himself. Sadly, he lost his life in 1978, at the age of 31 during a voluntary re-creation of the Polynesian voyage between Hawaii and Tahiti. In huge seas, the voyaging canoe capsized. Eddie paddled off on a surfboard in an attempt to reach help for his fellow crewman. He was never seen again, but his spirit and legacy of how "Eddie Would Go" lives on. This whole competition is held in his memory and the waves have to be big enough to require the courage and talent that Eddie represents.
The call for courage comes to all of us in our own unique way... Maybe not to face massive waves but the call and need for courage and dedication is necessary everyday.
Eddie is not the only story of a person that "would go". Moroni would go even unto battle. In Alma 48:11, it states "a strong and a mighty man; he was a man of a perfect understanding." Lehi would go—he would listen to the Lord and lead his family into the wilderness.
Nephi would go—back to get the plates, or to build a ship. The Good Samaritan would go—and care for the man who others passed by. Esther would go—to save her people, and risking her own life. Ruth would go—lovingly following; "Whether thou goest I will go." Joseph Smith would go—to the sacred grove, to Kirtland, to Nauvoo, to Liberty, to Carthage.
The Savior would go—and prepare a way for each of us. The greatest story ever told is that of the Saviors life, and what he has done for each of us. We have been blessed by his ultimate atonement as he has suffered for our sins. He said to his Father, "I will go" It is our "relationship" with him that will help benefit all other relationships. We have been blessed by his ultimate understanding. We need to not only believe in him, but literally believe him.
The task “to go and do” and follow Christ is not easy. I think it is what sets us apart and defines us as people.
What can you do today to show courage and step out of your personal comfort zones to become closer to the Savior?
if you are still reading this...
if you are still reading this...
Here's a great quote from a favorite new movie:
"Have Courage and Be Kind" - Cinderella