Out of the Boat
We marvel at the boldness of Peter for getting out of the boat to walk on the water towards the Lord. (See Matthew 14: 22-33.) But there’s nothing in this famous scene to indicate the Lord thought less of the disciples who remained in the boat. Indeed, those who remained in the boat went on to achieve great things for the faith.
Nevertheless, within the ecosystem of Christianity there are some folks who experience the hand of the Lord on their lives more than others. They are the folks often called to work in challenging and fulfilling ministries. When they answer the call from God, they step out of the boat and walk on water (metaphorically, of course). I’ve stepped out of the boat a few times in the direction I thought the Lord had called me to take, only to . . . well, not walk on water. It’s not that I took my eyes off the Lord; I honestly don’t know what happened. But after a few incidents of flailing about in the turbulent waters, you grow wary of stepping out of the boat.
When I examine my life now, it’s not so bad inside the boat. Psalms 46:10 says: “Be still and know that I am God.” In a way, it feels good to let go of the craving for a grand purpose from God. The dream of running with the big dogs in ministry fades. Simply knowing God could be enough.
Perhaps the Lord would have some of us learn that placing too much importance on purpose, even purpose in ministry, is hazardous. Purpose can easily seduce us into a sense of self-exaltation and worth through action. But what is my worth? How is it measured or defined?
Ecclesiastes 3 says there is a season for everything: “A time to search and a time to quit searching.” The season to quit searching for purpose comes with a sense of sadness and serenity. It’s just the way it is.
Yep, it’s not bad in the boat. After all, that’s where Jesus was headed in the first place.