You Are Not A Wave

Mitch Albom said, in his wonderful book, Tuesdays, with Morrie, “You’re not a wave, you’re a part of the ocean.”

This quote has hit me more than once over the past few days as I walk along the deck or watch from the stern of the ship or stroll on a beach. I watch the waves that roll in and out, blanketing the sand and then drawing back with them anything caught in the tide. Sometimes, in the early morning or late evening, I stand at the railing and watch the wake of the ship, foaming up from under the berth and fanning out into the open ocean.

The world looks so vast from this vantage point–ongoing, endless, infinitesimal. It’s hard to tell where the Earth ends and where the Universe begins. It’s easy to feel like we’re small and insignificant in comparison, powerless even. Even the clouds, mere collections of air and water, seem bigger, stronger, and mightier than I am.

It’s like I’m no more than a tiny puff of air in the immense cosmos.

And then…

I hear a small voice reminding me that I am not small. I am not weak. I am not insignificant.

“You’re not a wave, you’re a part of the ocean.”

Secluded Beach

A wave is usually small and graceful.

It comes in with a gentle swoosh and goes out in silence.

The mark it leaves behind is quickly erased, all traces of it vanishing in less than a second except, maybe, for the tiny shells and creatures it leaves behind.

Yet we must remember…

A wave can be enormous.

It can be thunderously loud.

It can be destructive, wiping out everything in its path.

(Picture – Mainichi Shimbun / Reuters file)

Large or small, quiet or thunderous, gentle or fierce, all waves are part of the ocean. All of them, even the largest most destructive ones, are still part of something bigger. No wave is a wave unto itself. Each wave is part of the vast ocean, always reverting back to its original form, always melding back into the body of water from which it came.

According to the National Ocean Service, “Waves transmit energy, not water, across the ocean and if not obstructed by anything, they have the potential to travel across an entire ocean basin.”

Think about that. Without obstruction, waves have the potential to travel across the entire ocean basin. Wow!

“You’re not a wave, you’re a part of the ocean.”

You are not alone. You are not standing on the precipice of nothingness with a void surrounding you. Everything you do affects someone or something else. Everything you say, everything you feel, everything you accomplish or stand up for or ignore has ramifications.

You, too, can wash away what lies behind you with a gentle swoosh or lay waste to everything you encounter with a powerful slam. You, too, have the power to leave behind beautiful bits of yourself or destruction and chaos.

You are part of something bigger.

“You’re not a wave, you’re a part of the ocean.”

Think about that the next time you have a decision to make. Think about it when you’re contemplating your role in this game of life. Think about it when you feel high and mighty and when you feel lost and alone. You are part of something bigger, something greater, something more meaningful. You have the potential to go far and wide, further away than you ever imagined from the point at which you began. Every day, you are traveling through life as part of God’s plan. You play a part in His masterpiece.

“You’re not a wave, you’re a part of the ocean.”

You are part of something more.

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body” (1 Corinthians 12:12).

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Amy Schisler is an award-winning author of both children’s books and sweet, faith-filled romance novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her books, Picture MeWhispering Vines, and Island of Miracles are all recipients of Illumination Awards, placing them among the top inspirational fiction books of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Whispering Vines was awarded the 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016.  Island of Miracles has outsold all of Amy’s other books worldwide and ranked as high as 600 on Amazon. Her follow up, Island of Promise is a reader favorite. Amy’s children’s book is The Greatest Gift. The suspense novel, Summer’s Squall, and all of Amy’s books, can be found online and in stores. Her latest novel, Island of Promise, was recently awarded First Prize by the Oklahoma Romance Writer’s Association as the best Inspirational Romance of 2018 and was awarded a Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2019 for Inspirational Fiction. It is the 2019 winner for Best Inspirational Fiction in the RWA Golden Quill Contest, Best Romance in the American Book Awards, and a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award of Fiction. Amy’s 2019 work, The Devil’s Fortune, a finalist in the Writer’s Digest Self-Publishing Awards and winner of an Illumination Award, is based, in part, on Amy’s family history. The third book of Amy’s Chincoteague Island Trilogy,  Island of Hope, was released in August of 2019. Amy’s book, Desert Fire, Mountain Rain begins her new Buffalo Springs series. Book two will be out in early 2022. The Good Wine, the sequel to Whispering Vines, is now available in all formats. 

You may follow Amy on Facebook at, Twitter @AmySchislerAuth, Goodreads at and at

Amy’s books: Crabbing With Granddad (2013), A Place to Call Home (2014), Picture Me (2015), Whispering Vines (2016), Island of Miracles (2017), Stations of the Cross Meditations for Moms (2017), The Greatest Gift (2017), Summer’s Squall (2017), Island of Promise (2018), The Devil’s Fortune (2019), Island of Hope (2019), A Devotional Alphabet (2019), Desert Fire, Mountain Rain(2020), The Good Wine (2021).

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