The Holt family is in Costa Rica for two weeks. If you have ever been to Costa Rica, or if you are planning to come, one term you should become familiar with is “Pura Vida” (pronounced poo-rah vee-dah). Simply translated, it means “simple life” or “pure life.” Here in Costa Rica, it is more than just a saying; it’s a way of life. Costa Ricans, or Ticos, use this term to say hello, goodbye, everything’s great or everything’s cool.

For many of us, our natural outlook on life or the way we tend to look at things, is anything but “pura vida.” A catchphrase for many of us, including myself, might be “preocupacion vida.” Worry and anxiety is our natural tendency.

If I allow my thinking to drift, I always drift downstream. In the stream of our emotions, drift is unavoidable if we choose not to swim.

One of the activities we’ve enjoyed the most in Costa Rica is surfing and boogie boarding. The waves are great here, but the challenge is catching the curl just right and lining up the board with the wave. You don’t automatically drift into a good wave, you must swim too. If in sync, the ride is incredible. The wave does the work and you hang on. If out of sync, well, let’s just say it can be dangerous.

Getting our thinking in sync with God’s thinking is much like riding a wave. God’s “pura vida” is the syncing of our hearts and minds into Christ’s. It’s about riding the wave of God’s heart. The Bible speaks of God’s thoughts toward us, For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11, NKJV). Let us swim for God’s wave!

Pura Vida!


Steve Holt D.D. MA

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