A journey to country New South Wales town of Wagga Wagga led to a discovery of a local urban myth. Wagga Beach - a decent 100 metre stretch of river sand on a bend in the Murrumbidgee River - is said to have a single wave. That wave is known ad the Wagga Beach 5pm wave. That wave passes through at exactly 5pm each day. The urban myth seems to follow from the logic that a beach needs waves; or a beach needs at least one wave. The wave justifies Wagga Beach - a beach more than 200 kilometres from the nearest ocean - as a Beach. Google have been considerate of the wave by granting it a position on their map. A non-local may conclude that the wave should be called the Wagga Wagga Beach 5pm wave yet that is to neglect the habit of Wagga Wagga locals to tend to refer to their lovely town as just Wagga.
5pm wave, or not, it is a very nice beach. The local Council have provided suitable recreation facilities including playground, BBQs, ample untimed parking and so on. There are warning signs that identify the water's variable current and the absence of lifeguards. The Beach is a short distance from the centre of Wagga's business district. The Beach is easily accessible on foot or by bicycle.
Asking around, as I performed an ad hoc survey of locals, I discovered two theories as to the origin of the myth:
1. A release of water from one or two upstream dams at 5pm causes a wave to pass by the beach. I tried to point out the obvious problem that the water could not be released at 5pm and the wave occur at 5pm (given the distance of the beach from the water release point) but locals did not seem to care for such logic. Local urban myths and logic do not always come together! This linked website contains a picture of the wave.
2. Mothers were want to have their children return home for a meal and there was a time when they would request their children leave the beach before the 5pm wave. The mother's apparently were particularly keen to promote such departure from the beach on school days amongst children who found the beach an joyous distraction on the way home from school. A local adjacent to the chap who shared this idea immediately re-buffed it. This goes to show that urban myths still thrive when there is disagreement.
Anyway, urban myths gain their own legs and who am I to doubt the Wagga Beach 5pm wave. I certainly do not care to enter into conjecture that the wave occurs alternatively at 5am. And, who can argue with anything of a town that is known to have debuted the finest of Australian cuisine; the Chiko Roll.
The Bible is not a book of urban myths. It is a book of truths. As I considered the Wagga Beach 5pm wave I was also considering one of the Bible's greatest truths. That Truth is found in a short letter in the New Testament called 1 John. Here is the verse that I was considering:
If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God,
God lives in them and they in God.
The verse tells of a most wonderful truth. By acknowledging Jesus as the Son of God, a person is part of God's kingdom. God is love. It is through God's love that he wants everyone to acknowledge him. You can accept God into your heart by acknowledging Jesus as God's Son. No-one has seen God yet there is a solid record of Jesus. Jesus came to make God known. We can know God by knowing Jesus.
It is not enough to acknowledge Jesus as a historical figure. You must instead specifically acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God. An acknowledgement that God so loved everyone in the world that he arranged for his Son to be born of a human woman.
There is much more to say about this truth. If you want to understand more reach for another of John's works - his good news account of Jesus Christ's mission work - the Gospel of John. Chapter 3 of the Gospel of John is a good starting point to understand further. Oh!, and don't fear asking questions of someone who attends church - or consider attending a church. Churches love questions!
Note: all links good as at 23 September 2017