I love the poetic beauty in the third stanza of this song. The powerful imagery either plays a movie in my head or makes me feel like I'm in an art gallery gazing upon a detailed painting.
The waves in this song - or story - can't be boiled down to one thing. I think it depends on what specific season the character is in. If every wave represents temptation, addiction and so on, then we need to keep in my mind and heart that the crashing waves can take us to shore (the arms of God) if we have made that decision of acceptance in our lives.
So far in the song the main character is seeing these waves as opportunities when really they are temptations - things that will inevitably pull him away from what truly matters. At this point in this particular season of his life he has yet to differentiate the waves that perhaps society wants for him and his very own wave that represents God's will and path for him. Sometimes our own ambition is suddenly hit with blindness. And maybe deafness too.
If he were to catch a wave right here, right now he would be overcome by the illusions of success. Illusion or not, it's still failure. He could always be washed ashore with the chance of trying again, but that's a decision he has to make. Nobody can make that for him. Not even the woman he's about to abandon over selfish pride.
Every sailor knows that the sea
Is a friend made enemy
We've all experienced it. Life is nothing but smooth sailing and then out of nowhere you're in the midst of a storm. Surrounded on all sides by raging and relentless waves, we're capsized. No explanation as to why. It just is. The glorious sea with the sparkling sun glistening over the surface was a click away from being a framed photograph. Then in an instant the calm sea became a tumultuous enemy. What's a sailor to do?
And every shipwrecked soul, knows what it is
To live without intimacy
Being shipwrecked doesn't mean you're dead, but it does mean you obviously got off of course. The man now has either already decided to chase the breaking waves or he's letting his lover's prayer resonate. He's perhaps doing what I'd imagine most people wish they were better at - contemplating the consequences of your actions before actually doing them. If he turns his back on his girlfriend or wife, he's creating a possibility that they will never be together again. Men (and woman) walk out on their families all the time. I wonder if they regret it or are they that far removed from being a decent person that they never look back. Other than with God, being shipwrecked alone leaves no opportunity for intimacy. That's what we're here for. To construct, maintain and sometimes rebuild intimate relationships. But sometimes, we need the sea to turn enemy and become shipwrecked in order to realize what is most important. For me, I think stories of redemption are the most fascinating and heart-wrenching.
I thought I heard the captain's voice
It's hard to listen while you preach
When God speaks, do we listen? Or are we too caught up preaching to others? But I'm not sure that's what's happening here in this part of the story. I think the character here would no exactly what to preach if given the right platform. And I think he knows exactly what to believe, but just because you're preaching doesn't mean we're listening to the captain's voice. And it certainly doesn't mean our actions are reflecting what we believe. He has told us and showed us everything we need to door to steer clear of and drive ourselves out of trails and tribulations. If we're caught up with our own agendas we don't hear Him talking to. We don't even hear our own voice because it's being scrambled by Satan. Our best ideas, thoughts, revelations and epiphanies don't always come when we're talking, but rather when we're sitting in complete silence.
Like every broken wave on the shore
This is far as I could reach
The Lord has plans for us to prosper - even before we're in the womb. Whenever we reach a point that we feel we down for the count and just can't take one more step, we're putting up road blocks on our destined path. It's easy, sometimes too easy, to let unfortunate situations take our thoughts captive. It's too easy sometimes to let our thoughts defeat us. It's too easy sometimes to believe the lie of those thoughts. Because that's exactly what they are - lies. Lies are from the enemy who wants to destroy us. Hope is from the Lord that wants to pick us up, brush us off and have us keep on going - with no memories of the past.
Our character here is believing the lies. Believing that his past wasn't good enough so it's worth walking away from. He always believes that his future doesn't live up to the hype. Losing before you even play the game - it's a difficult hole to climb out of.
He has plans for us to prosper, but when we chase all those waves - all those lies about how life could be better if a different path (or wave) was taken - we send out a grand invitation for doubt. With doubt comes a sleeping bag of fear and the belief that we are simply no good. Or even worse, our desire and passion of wanting and being more wanes. This is what happens when we hang out with Christ-less people that are riding the wrong wave that don't even acknowledge the shore.
Out in the ocean, and it may be days away or years, is a wave that we are meant to catch and ride to shore. Some waves break or never amount to anything, but patience and prayer will get us on the right one.