Saturday, October 29, 2005
walking on water, sinking into the sea

I was asked to speak tonight and give a short message to the high school / junior high kids at my church on the topic of "faith". It's a bit hard to imagine covering every thing about a topic as big as "faith" in a single lesson, but I did my best to try and give the them at least a couple of things to think about... though reflecting on my own struggles, it was almost as if the lesson I was writing was for myself as much as for them.


Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowd. After He had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

During the fourth watch of the night 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?"

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

(Matthew 14:22-33)


As I prepared for the lesson, the one thing that kept coming back to me about the passage was Peter and what he did. He had enough faith to see Jesus and to try to walk out on the water toward him, but despite his best intentions, he fails... he sees the storm, the howling wind, the water, and it distracts so much, that he begins to drown. I guess that's the point where I empathize the most with him, because I see my own struggles mirrored in his place in the story.

For much of my life, especially since the time I was baptized back in 1997, I've tried to do my best to follow God, to focus my attentions on serving Him and others, but I always feel like I come up short... that no matter how far I manage to walk across the water, I always end up sinking into the sea, whether it's through circumstances or my own stupid mistakes. I guess it's only a combination of divine grace and my own stubborn, silent survivor tendencies that has carried me through life so far. And maybe that's part of the problem.

Having faith means having trust. And that trust means that somehow, I have come back to a place of vulnerability when I can believe in my heart that when I slip beneath waves, He will reach out and save me just as He saved Peter. I know I need to be at that place, because I don't want to be another idiot just living a thoughtless, meaningless, and -worst of all-, a hopeless life.

But I'm not there yet.


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in?scrip?tion (n-skrip-shun)n.
1. The act or an instance of inscribing.
2. Something, such as the wording on a coin, medal, monument, or seal, that is inscribed.
3. A short, signed message in a book or on a photograph given as a gift.
4. The usually informal dedication of an artistic work.
5. Jeremiah 31:33

the facts.
name. Gar AKA "that Chinese guy" "Sleepy.McSleeping"
ethnicity/nationality. Chinese/American, 4th gen.
location. Sea-Town, WA, USA Kawanishi, JAPAN
occupation. less-cynical poor grad student
age. younger than you think, older than you know



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