United Church of Christ

Rogue

Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the mighty waters. They mounted up to heaven, they went down to the depths. - Psalm 107:23, 26

Sailors have always told stories of rogue waves, eighty or a hundred feet tall. These waves, they said, could come upon you with little or no warning, in seas that were otherwise normal. For a long time, scientists scoffed at such claims. The stories sounded all too much like a kind of watery urban legend, a story that simply distilled the sailors’ fears, the ocean-goer’s boogeyman. The scientists’ theoretical models proved no such waves could exist, and anyway very few people ever claimed to have actually seen such a thing.

Of course, given the kind of boats we’ve had for most of human history, anybody who saw such a wave with their own eyes was probably not going to live to tell about it. But technology moves on, and the science follows. More and more double-hulled metal ships took to the water, with better and better designs. More and more drilling and observation platforms were set out.

And in 1995 an oil drilling platform 100 miles off the coast of Norway officially recorded an 85-foot high wave. It came rolling in, for no apparent reason, in the middle of a sea where the highest waves were 39 feet. Then in 2000, an oceanographic vessel near Scotland measured a wave 95 feet tall in a way shorter sea. Turns out rogue waves are totally a thing.

Christians have always told stories of miracles.

These blessings, they said, could come upon you with little or no warning, in a life otherwise unassailed by divine intervention. Right-thinking educated people scoffed. The stories sounded all too much like wishful thinking. Miraculous healings, speaking in tongues, overcoming death: prove it, they said.

Technology moves on, and science does too, and who knows what rogue miracles will be "proven" next?

Prayer

God, your world is full of wonders and mysteries. Let me not be too quick to dismiss them, and let me, at least sometimes, believe them before it’s wise.

ddcaldwell_2014.pngAbout the Author
Quinn G. Caldwell is a father, husband, homesteader and preacher living in rural upstate New York. His most recent book is a series of daily reflections for Advent and Christmas called All I Really Want: Readings for a Modern Christmas. Learn more about it and find him on Facebook at Quinn G. Caldwell.

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