Monday, August 11, 2008

Moving Right Along

I think I am done with talking about Lambeth, Archbishops, Bishops, Episcopolitics, etc.

In other words, I'm going to try to avoid the bright shiny objects and return to more introspection and reflection.

And goes:

Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, "Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid."
Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." --Matt 14: 22-33

I will get to the "why I marked that line in blue" in just a moment. First, let me say that when I read this (which I ended up reading it twice because I had already seen it once earlier in the past week) I was choking up with tears again in reflecting on how in those moments when I think I'm about to sink and drown, I have been made safe through the loving hand of God. So this particular Bible story "feels real" to me.

So, why the blue highlight amidst the red text? Well, while I was thinking about the above situation, yesterday's sermon by Rev. Denson Franklin (father of Mtr. Lee Shafer of St. John's) zeroed in on that line. That Peter, when beckoned to come, got out of the boat and started walking. Jesus didn't walk to him; Peter was walking toward Jesus. And then, the wind blows, and he gets scared and that's when he starts to sink. The repeated message in the sermon became "Get out of the boat." And, just in case I had missed it, Mtr. Lee said it one more time to me before I left the church.

Get out of the boat. How interesting, and appropriate, and......


Scary because I have felt (and described here and here in this blog) that my journey at this time feels like I am in a boat...a strange and foreign place for me to be because I don't swim and so sea-faring isn't one of my hobbies. Nonetheless, that's been the inner sensation. I have certainly at times wanted to exit the boat and go ashore and hang out anywhere but on the water. And each time, I have felt this tug that tells me to "Sit down and stop trying to leave the boat!" I have also tried to commandeer the wheel of the boat and take command of the direction. Again, I have been told to "Sit down, be still, pay attention, and stop trying to put your hands on the wheel." All of this has left me amazed, awed, confused...and sometimes downright frustrated. If this is my boat ride, then I want to set the course!

But what happens when the day comes that I am invited to leave the boat and come out onto the water? Not by a priest, but by God? Where will my focus be? Will I be able to do it? Will I flinch at the first breeze that blows by (because there's always going to be wind)? Will I have the ears to hear the call to "come"?

I wonder.


redselchie said...

I think the Episcopalians must have the same readings as the Catholic Church; they had this recently at Mass as well.

What's even more astounding is when you realize the boat was their only source of creature comfort, their only refuge from the storm. For Simeon Peter to ask the Lord to "command me to come to you," it was like going through trials and tribulations, and asking for more. It was all done on faith. He started out well enough, but let his doubt and fears do him in. And yet, Jesus was right there to bring him back.

Oddly reassuring to me because I mess up like that ALL THE TIME. lol.

Suzie said...

and Jesus shows his sense of humor in renaming Simon with the name "Peter" - - the Rock. As in . . . it sinks!

Anytime we step out, yep, chances are we'll sink. Nice to know Jesus is there then too.

thanks for going after the everyday Rock, rather than all that shiny stuff we're all so tired of right now!