Thursday, May 23, 2013
Get Out of the Boat!
Last summer we got a new boat. Well, not a new, boat, but new enough for us. Not long after we brought it home, we pulled it down to the lake near our house and took it for a spin. The Pastor would rather stick his nostrils together with Crazy glue than go swimming, but my son and I went prepared with our suits on, because we know that, as much fun as it is in the boat--sometimes it's even better to get out of the boat.
Our Sunday school lessons for the past few weeks have been a video series by Ray Vander Laan, called In the Dust of the Rabbi. (If you've never heard of Ray or seen one of his videos, look him up...you won't be disappointed) In the Dust of the Rabbi is about being a true disciple of Jesus Christ. Set in the Holy Land with Mr. Vander Lann teaching about the specific location and what it meant to be a disciple, it is humbling and thought provoking.
In a recent video, he stood at the edge of the Sea of Galilee and taught about Peter walking on the water with Jesus. He summarized the lesson with this powerful statement: "If you're going to follow a Rabbi who walks on water, you're going to have to get out of the boat." Ouch.
I don't like the idea of getting out of the boat. I'm not much for risks. I only take them if they are carefully calculated and I feel I know the outcome. That doesn't make for much of a risk. I want my Christianity to be safe. I want Jesus to be safe. Here's a clue...he's not. But as Mr. Beaver says to Lucy in C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe "..'course he isn't safe! But he's good."
If I really want to be a disciple of Jesus, if I really want to follow him wherever he might lead me, even if I can't completely see where I'm going, I better learn to take some risks and get out of the boat. ...And learning, I am. Three weeks ago I packed up six years worth of files, books, and notes. I moved from my office with a nice big window into a nondescript cubicle in a corner, and I watched as a new Information Technology Manager came through the door of Quest Aircraft to take my job.
Near as I can calculate, I've been in I.T. for almost 18 years. It's a bittersweet thing to walk away from. My new title at work is "Marketing Specialist" and I've reduced my hours from 40 to 24 in order to provide me with the time to volunteer with Partners International Women as a Servant Leader, part-time missionary. Let me tell you, I am way out of the boat!
On the Sea of Galilee, Peter could see the wind and the waves. I'm sure he could easily calculate that it wasn't safe to attempt to walk on water. But even more than that, he knew Jesus was good. Like Peter, shakily walking on the water toward Jesus, we can take the steps of faith that God calls us to, with assurance that even if we begin to sink...He is good!
It's time to get out of the boat!