Pastor Larson’s Corner: Eddie would go

Pastor Larsons Corner

During my recent visit to Hawaii I noticed several bumper stickers with the phrase, “Eddie Would Go.” Then one day I walked past a surfboard shop on Waikiki and they had a large sign posted in their window with the same words. I stopped in to find out what it all meant and heard a very interesting story. Eddie Aikau of Hawaii was a Lifeguard and Surfer on the North Shore of Oahu. He rescued over 500 swimmers during his tenure on Waimea Bay and never lost anyone to drowning. He was the first surfer in the world to surf the giant 40 and 50 foot waves. When others would not attempt a rescue or attempt to ride a giant wave, “Eddie would go.”

Later, when he was on a special Hawaiian sailing expedition, the boat became disabled and was in danger of sinking. After making sure that everyone was safe, Eddie took his surfboard and began paddling for the nearest land to get help. He was lost at sea that day while his crew all survived. Ever since his death, surfers and lifeguards have braved the big waves and their personal challenges in life by remembering how, “Eddie would go,” no matter what.

As we journey through the season of Lent we are remembering how Jesus willingly faced His accusers and did not back down even in the face of certain death. Jesus was willing to give up His life in order that we might live. Jesus was willing to go when His disciples and all others around Him would not.

You and I face many challenges in life that take courage and fortitude. As we face these things, we often ask the question, “What would Jesus do?” Perhaps we can answer that question by using the popular Lifeguard / Surfer motto, and say to ourselves, “Jesus would go.” The world needs those who will still go even in the midst of great challenges and uncertainties. Certainly this is what Jesus would want from each of us.

Pastor Larson’s Corner is written by Jerry Larson and appears weekly in the Norwegian American Weekly.

Pastor Jerry Larson retired to his cabin in Zimmerman, Minn., after 39 years in parish ministry for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In 2011 he published a book entitled “Speaking the Word Freely: Writing with purpose, preaching with power.” Contact him at

This article originally appeared in the March 6, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.