Friday, October 4, 2013


I've been talking for two days about the story of Peter and his attempt at water-walking. Today, I want to take you deeper into Peter's head - and yours - to dig out one more detail that I believe is critical to this story.

Intent. Or put another way, Decision.

Let me ask you something. Why have you ever wanted to walk on water? If you're like me, the answer is something akin to "Because it would be cool" or "To prove that I can." After all, this is the measure of faith. (If you still believe that, go back to Wednesday and start over. Please.) But isn't that the truth? We want to walk on water to show our God - and our world - and maybe even our reflection in the water - that we can. As if that matters.

I want to say that Peter was a man, that he had the same thoughts we have looking back on this story. I want to say that he saw Jesus walking to him on the water and thought, "That would be cool. I bet I could do that." And then he asked for the opportunity to prove himself. If that's the case, I go back to the point I made yesterday, which was: even if you've asked for the proving ground, you have to wait for God to call you to it before you go. (I probably didn't make that point this clearly yesterday, so here it is again: You have to wait for God to call you before you try walking on water.)

But suppose Peter really is this noble guy with better intentions and stronger God-confidence than most of us have. Suppose he wasn't thinking how cool it would be or about his ability to do it. Suppose instead, he was thinking what I would hope to think - that's my Lord out there, calling me to Him, and I've got to go. Maybe he's thinking one step deeper - there's a raging storm, and I hear my Friend's voice. He's calling me to Him, and I'm going.

Isn't that a beautiful - and pure - thought? I aspire to such pure thoughts.

So let's say that's what Peter was thinking - that there stood His Lord, and if it took crossing the water to get to Him, then for Christ's sake, he'd be a fool not to go. The question then is this: what did Peter have to decide?

Did he have to decide he was going to walk on the water? Was that really the choice? He's standing in the boat with eleven other guys. The waves are crashing. The Lord is calling. Am I supposed to believe that Peter was standing there, contemplating the water walk, letting this moment hang in the air while he debated how exactly he was supposed to set his foot on the sea?

Been there. Just writing that, I'm thinking of all the holy moments I've left hanging. ...and then missed.

Peter didn't miss his because he didn't stand there trying to figure out the impossible. He didn't waste time in the details. He didn't get caught up trying to decide whether or not he was going to, or could, or should walk on water.

He just had to decide he was going to Jesus, to the place where he was called, however he had to get there. He only had to decide to go.

The same is true for you and I. God never asks us to choose whether we will walk on water. He asks us to choose to go to Him, as He calls us, where He calls us, when He calls us.

We spend so much of our time trying to figure out if we can, should, would or just how we might do what God is asking, go where God is calling. But that's just distraction. The longer you linger, the heavier the holy moment hangs until you may miss it altogether while you're trying to decide whether or not you've got the details. If you want the holy moment, go back to the simple choice:

Jesus is calling. Will you go?

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