Matt Beacham: Surfing Closer to God
By Janet White
The 700 Club
Matt Beacham, world renown pro-surfer, masters the waves on the west coast from his California home. Since he was born in North Carolina, he learned to surf on the east coast.
“I’m a pro surfer,” Matt said. “I just love surfing - I’ve been doing it for like 20 years.”
Recently, Matt’s been hosting a show on Fuel TV called New Pollution. The show focuses on young athletes, ages 16 and below.
“It’s just amazing to watch these kids,” Matt said.
“As far as surfing goes - it’s something I started at 9-years-old and just loved and never stopped loving,” Matt said.
“I never really gravitated towards competition,” Matt said, “and thank God there was an area of pro-surfing where you can avoid the contests.”
“I was able to go on trips and see the world, work with photographers, and work on movie projects with friends and stuff like that,” Matt said. “I just thank God that was the direction I went with it.”
Matt says he grew up with Christian parents and that Christ’s message sunk into him early.
“I remember believing in Jesus and that he had the world in his hands and that his words are true since as long as I can remember literally having thought,” Matt said.
“But there are points in my life that I realize I was running from God as far as I could,” Matt said. “I didn’t want him around. I didn’t want him to dictate what I do.”
Matt acknowledges he was in rebellion and he knew it. He questions why he was doing that.
“I think it was just because I was doing something I’d never done before,” Matt said. “I felt like I was taking life by the horns. I felt like I was trying to be the master of my own little destiny right then and there.”
However, Matt says that his running from God worked against any forward motion in his life.
“I almost died in two crazy car wrecks that were 10 years apart in my life,” Matt said. “I felt like I almost died surfing a couple of times.”
Matt remembers the attitude he had toward God at that time.
“It was like - okay God I know that you see everything and your omniscient,” Matt said, “But I think I can take my life and make more sense of it than you can. So you just kind of chill for a while and I will go do my thing.”
Matt says he began to sense the joy that had always been with him begin to slowly seep away. Each time he ran from God he felt like he ran into a wall.
Matt remembers how he felt God was speaking to him at times.
“What are you doing? You know, I’ve been with you your whole life. I’ve had you just under my protection. But I respect your free will. So if you want to run from me, I will let you run. I will let you do that.”
“Every time I would do that,” Matt said “everything I knew to be good in my own life would start to crumble and not make sense anymore. And God’s so gracious - every one of those times, he would let me come back.”
“It wasn’t like this overnight thing every time,” Matt said. “He pulls you back in and he reminds you what this life’s about - what things this life is worth living for and what does matter; and a relationship with God and a walk with God. If I can say my favorite part about it, it’s just this peace.”
“It’s just the peace of knowing that you’re made for him,” Matt said. “He wants you to spend eternity with him. He’s going to respect your free will to make your own decisions about him dieing on the cross for your sins.”
Matt says God provides that free gift of eternal life that he offers, knowing that we’ve all blown it.
“He offers this free gift of ‘Hey, I want a relationship with you,’” Matt said. “It’s cool because everyone is looking for something real and so is God. God’s looking to see realness in me.”Can God change your life?
“God’s looking for realness,” Matt said. “He’s opened the door very easily to us. He just says “Believe”, and that’s how it starts. And after that, he wants to see a real relationship. It’s amazing actually.”
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