What Waves Can Teach Us About the Path of Joy

Sitting by the ocean and hearing the crashing waves is an incredibly peaceful experience. It can fill your heart and bring great joy to your day. In fact, just listening to the sound of waves on a sound machine can have a positive effect on your mood.

Dr. Peter Kreeft is not only a philosophy professor and prolific author, but he is also a surfer. He knows a thing or two about waves, and when he stopped by The Cale Clarke Show recently he shared why waves aren’t just for beach vacations and white noise machines. They also help us illustrate the way we interact with God and how we can find joy in our life.

Dr. Kreeft said, “A wave is an amazing thing. It’s dynamic and static at that same time. And it’s incredibly powerful. If you go with it, it helps you. And if you go against it, it wipes you out.”

Dr. Kreeft noted that the spiritual classic Abandonment to Divine Providence is not at all about surfing, but can help to understand this connection between waves and the path of joy. In it,  Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade offers encouragement to live in the present moment and accept everyday obstacles with faith, humility, and love.

“God’s providence is like the wind,” Dr. Kreeft said. “It raises the waves of your life, and everything comes from Him. So if you go with the wave you’ll succeed, and if not you won’t. That’s the secret of joy.”

If that sounds a little woo-woo or hippie to you, just remember, Dr. Kreeft is not just a surfer but also a professor of philosophy. He explained that if we believe that God is good then abandoning oneself to Divine Providence is a rational way to live your life.

“That’s not naive, it’s rational too,” he said. “Because if there’s a God at all, He’s got to be all-good so that He can will our good. He’s got to be all-powerful so that He can do whatever He wills. He’s got to be all-wise so He knows what’s really for our good.”

“So it’s the most logical belief in the world to believe what is the hardest thing to believe, which is Romans 8:28: We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.”

Scripture also tells us that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17) The path to joy comes in going with the waves and keeping your focus on the Lord in the joys and challenges of your life.”

As Dr. Kreeft said, “Every wave is a wave from God.”

Listen to the full conversation below, and tune-in to The Cale Clarke Show weekdays at 5:00 p.m. Central on Relevant Radio® and the Relevant Radio App.


Stephanie Foley serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she studied journalism, and she has worked in Catholic radio for 12 years. Stephanie is a wife, a mother of three boys, and in her free time she enjoys reading, running, and really good coffee. You can find more of Stephanie’s writing at relevantradio.com and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.