Sunday, October 12, 2008
So this is my first blog... putting thoughts down in black and white for all to see (well, those who are interested anyways). What do I want to talk about? well, I guess the first topic should be about my faith.
I am a Catholic Christian. I love my faith, though I have difficulties to deal with, my faith helps me deal with then, inspite of my weaknesses. But there is a principle which I hold, and try to live by - it is based on Peter walking on water..
So, one day, Jesus and gang were on one side of the lake and Jesus decides to stay on and tells his followers to go ahead of him in a boat. The followers do as they are told, leaving Jesus at the shore. Sometime during their cruise on the lake to the other side, a storm comes up, the skies fill with looming clouds and the waves are tossing them all over the place. Of course their humanity takes control and fear is the name of the game. In the midst of all this, they see a "ghost" walking on water.. it looks like Jesus.. but they are not sure. Peter decides to try to overcome his fear and starts talking to the water-walking messiah. "Who are you?" peter asks.. " I am the Lord", Jesus replies. And as with any normal person of his day and ours, he continues with the clarifying question to test the Lord. "If you are Jesus, tell me to come to you and make me walk on water." (another way to say it is "If you are really God, then show me a miracle that I might believe you, cause I don't really trust that you are really who you say you are" (a lot of us think it but don't say it for fear of looking like a person of little faith... come to think of it, I do say this a lot, oh help me Jesus)) and Jesus says, "Come"
Then Peter does something which I am not sure if I could have done. He actually gets up, takes a deep breath and sticks out his leg over the side of the boat. I often thought if I had a chance to be one of the people on the boat, a ragtag collection of personalities thrown together by something beyond human coercion, who would I be?.... Honestly, I think I would probably be the boatman.. I don't think I would have had the faith to leave everything behind to be one of the disciples.. and here I am, the boatman, watching this scene, the short, brash, impetuous, "ah beng" kinda of leader of the group is talking to a "ghost" walking on water. I would be scared poopless at this point. (I hope and pray that my faith would graduate to one of the least of the apostles one day).
And so Peter sticks out his leg and steps down on the water and lo and behold, the water is seemingly solid. His heavy frame does not sink. He turns back and gives an uneasy reassuring smile to the rest. Those on the boat return the gesture with worried smiles thinking "Die la like that". Peter puts his other leg down. His senses defy him, he should be snorkeling by now, feeding the fishes from the dinner roll crumbs off his beard but instead, he is actually walking on water. He remembers Jesus, he looks up and sees Jesus waiting (and we do that a lot. We ask God to help us; he shows us that all we have to do is just follow what he says; we are doubtful a bit but we take a small step. When we experience a small miracle, we are so happy, we forget about Jesus and make him wait for us... well, I do that a lot anyways).
So the waves are tossing and turning and Jesus gets blocked by these waves once in a while, but He is still there. Peter sees the rage and strength of the waves and forgets his water walking miracle (which he is still on) and instead of focusing on Jesus, he lets the fear of "what if's" overcome him. "What if the roaring waves throw me off? What if I am not strong enough to face the waves? What if I lose my job or jeopardize my career by standing up for truth? What if my circumstances overcome me because I stuck my neck out too far and recklessly to do what is right? .. What if, what if.. " and so, the "what if" birthed fear and Peter took his eyes away from Jesus and he began to sink. Now, he did not just go "plop" into the water.. apparently, he sank slowly like an elevator was taking him down to the Long John Silver Seafood restaurant in the foodcourt in the basement. and he began to cry out. At his point, Jesus must be shaking his head and thinking "Oh myself (instead of saying "Oh my God"), He was walking on water.. all he had to do was walk to me and now, I have to go and rescue him.. I think I am getting a headache" So, Jesus comes, reaches out his hand and rescues Peter, the fisherman who was afraid of water.
So what is the principle? It is essentially this : As Christians, we do not deny the existence of the waves and circumstances around us. We do not deny that there are a lot of things in our lives that roars and tries to distract us in different directions and instill fear in us. But what we do deny is their right to rule our lives. Jesus is the only one who rules our lives. Of course this is easier said than done, but understanding this in our minds makes it easier to live by this principle rather than not knowing at all.
So, if you are reading this, and there is something bugging you and causing you fear, remember the times that God has supported you and gave you small miracles. Know that He has taken care of you before and He will always take care of you. It might feel lousy right now, but help is on the way. Our expectation of when He should step in will probably be different than what He has in mind, but keep your eyes on Him, keep your eyes on the Saviour who walks on water, who is able to cause us to walk above our troubles and you might surprised to find yourself walking on water.