Choosing a name for you blog is a very serious matter and not something to pick flippantly. So when thinking about what I wanted, what characterized my view of life, how I would face the semester, I started thinking about Jesus walking on water and how He called out Peter to come to Him.
“Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’ ‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’ ‘Come,’ he said.
“Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’
“Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?'”
When Peter walked out to Jesus from the boat, He was just fine. But when he began noticing the wind and waves, he began to fall. He doubted Christ…when the trials hit, he didn’t have faith in God.
I don’t want to simply walk on still and calm water towards Jesus…I want to be able to walk confidently towards Him, even through the waves.
Another inspiration came from Madeleine l’Engle’s “Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art” that I read last semester. God used this book to pull me out of a lot of darkness, and ever since, the concept of walking on water has fascinated me even more. While the focus was on art, the concepts needed to be an artist I found applicable to all of life…the idea of vulnerability, abandoning our comfort zone, and having faith in the magical…
“Plato spoke of the necessity for divine madness in the poet. It is a frightening thing to open oneself to this strange and dark side of the divine; it means letting go our sane self control, that control which gives us the illusion of safety. But safety is only an illusion, and letting it go is part of listening to the silence, and to the spirit.” (Walking on Water)
Being safe doesn’t allow God to work. Being safe doesn’t cause us to grow. Taking a risk and stepping out into the unknown, leaving the boat in the middle of a storm and walking towards Jesus…that takes faith, it allows God to work evidently in our life, and grow our faith in Him even more.
In high school, one of my teachers described me as a fish…when I was in my own water, my little pond, I swam confidently…but once I was pulled out of my water, I flopped and flailed around. I have the same tendency that Peter did. And a lot of times, I refuse to take that first step out of the boat. So as the semester begins, which could very well be the most difficult I’ve faced yet, I want to have the faith to step out of my comfort zone, to leave the boat, to step into the wind and waves, and keep my eyes on Jesus.
“To be a witness does not consist in engaging in propaganda, nor even stirring people up, but in being a LIVING MYSTERY. It means to live in such a way that one’s life would not make sense if God did not exist.” (Walking on Water)