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CBN.com This young, professional surfer talks about how he got into surfing and about how God got a hold of him.
“My name is Bryan Jennings. I think what I love about surfing is just being in God’s creation. The first time I rode that first wave, I was just a little kid and just fell in love with the feeling of actually riding a wave. I first got into surfing actually just right here on this beach, just riding my boogie board when I was a little kid about 8 years old. Then I started standing up on my boogie board, and, well, this is better. Then I just fell in love with it. Once I rode that first wave, it was like no going back to the boogie board; I want to stand up every time.
“I think surfing became more to me when I was 14 years old. I started surfing in contests and realized I actually could do pretty well. I was winning some of the local competitions and like, ‘Wow, this is cool. I’m actually pretty good at this.’ In other sports I was always mediocre, but with surfing I felt like I was a little bit above mediocre and like, ‘Wow, this is great.’ I realized maybe I had a future in surfing.
“I think I learned really quick that I needed something more. I came to a place where I’d had enough of the high school parties and drinking and sex before marriage. Anything I could fill my heart up with, it just left me empty. In my room I just kind of prayed a simple prayer like, ‘God, if You’re real, I just want You in my life.’ I opened up my Bible and I opened it up to Isaiah 1:18. It says, ‘If you’re willing and obedient, you’ll inherit the best of the land. But if you resist and rebel, you’ll be devoured by the sword.’ And I was like, ‘Whoa!’ If you resist and rebel, you’ll be devoured by the sword. I kind of already felt like I’d been devoured because I’d been resisting, so I’m like well, I’m going to try that other part, like maybe if I’m willing and obedient, I’ll inherit the best of the Land. That sounds a lot better.
“So I gave my heart to the Lord, and then a week later I’m actually at this beach right here and entered a Pro-Am. I ended up winning the contest and the next day everyone was like, ‘You got to go and surf in a bigger contest tomorrow.’ I was like, ‘Really? I don’t know. I’m just going to get a beat down.’ Like there’s no way. I’m not going to win.
“Anyway, so I went for it. I just drove up to Huntington Beach, and sure enough, God would just send the waves. Anyway, to make a long story short, I ended up winning the contest that day, and I’ll never forget it. I was in my car driving back down here, blown away that God just handed me my dream. I just remembered that one Scripture that says it is His kindness that leads us to repentance. And it’s almost like He’s so good to us we’ll want to stop blowing it.
“I wish I could say from that point forward I never blew it, I never sinned. That’s definitely not true. But I think from that point forward in my life I truly fell in love with God and realized that He’s for me not against me.
“And so finding God or Him finding me, it was just a natural reaction. Like, ‘Hey, you guys, you got to check this out!’ Like God’s real. There’s a purpose for this whole life. It was that simple. It wasn’t some weird thing that I wanted to push this on somebody. It was just like driving through Taco Bell or something and I was like, ‘Hey, thanks for the taco, and by the way, do you know that God’s real, man? Like, He loves you!’ I was just so excited to know that God was real and that we’re not on this planet alone with no hope.”
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