We’ve been having some serious internet problems so I haven’t been able to post lately. I finally connected via a phone line – wow, that’s slow!
Last week, magician Criss Angel â€œwalked on waterâ€ on his A&E television program. Iâ€™m not sure Iâ€™d call what Criss does â€œillusionâ€ as much as they are â€œstuntsâ€ but I digress. I have lots of opinions about what he does on television and how he portrays his â€œtalents,â€ but that’s not important.
The point of this blog, though, is the â€œwalking on waterâ€ bit. I have had the privilege of working with Andre Kole, the man who created this illusion (and one of the worldâ€™s greatest magicians). Heâ€™s been performing this effect for almost 20 years and taped it for a Discovery Channel special which aired in December called The Miracles of Jesus. I was there during the rehearsals, watching him walk across the swimming pool in the backyard. And, then, millions watched him on the Discovery Channel as he walked across a lake.
Now, for those of you who donâ€™t know it, the first person to walk on water was Jesus as recorded in the gospel of Matthew 14:25-32. There are so many lessons to be learned from these 7 verses that can change your life. Iâ€™ve read this story perhaps hundreds of times but never observed the truths until I read a book called If You Want To Walk On Water, You Have To Get Out Of The Boat by John Ortberg. Itâ€™s one of the most profound books Iâ€™ve read, challenging me to take a risk â€“ move beyond my comfort zone.
Those of you who read my blog regularly know that my faith is a very important and a significant part of my life. For those who donâ€™t want to read about it, you can skip this entry but I think there are lessons in this story for everyone. Even those whose faith rests in someone other than Jesus.
If youâ€™re not familiar with the story, itâ€™s pretty simple. Peter and his friends (the disciples) got into a little boat one afternoon to cross the Sea of Galilee. Jesus wanted to be alone, so they were boating without him. Thatâ€™s not a problem. Peter (and most of these guys) had been on boats his entire life. But on this trip, a storm blew in â€“ a big storm. It slowed them down considerably and, at 3am, they were still in the middle of the Sea. According to the Bible, it was at this point that one of them spotted a shadow moving toward them, across the water. As it got closer, it was evident that this was a person â€“ walking on water. And that person was Jesus. When He came to them on the water, he was doing more than a great magic trick. He was revealing his divine presence and power to this group of men.
Peter decided that, if this were truly Jesus, he would ask him, â€œIf it is you, command me to come to you on the water.â€ Peter wasnâ€™t interested in extreme sports. He was taking a risk and this is mainly a story about his obedience.
There are lots of great life lessons to be found in this passage but John Ortberg wrote words that really hit home with me. Iâ€™d like to just quote him because he said it so well:
â€œCourage alone is not enough; it must be accompanied by wisdom and discernment. Heâ€™s (Jesus) inviting you to go on the adventure of your life. But at the same time, youâ€™re scared to death. What would you choose â€“ the water or the boat? The boat is safe, secure and comfortable. On the other hand, the water is rough. Thereâ€™s a storm out there. And if you get out of the boat â€“ whatever your boat might happen to be â€“ thereâ€™s a good chance you might sink. But if you donâ€™t get out of the boat, thereâ€™s a guaranteed certainty that you will never walk on water. I believe there is something â€“ Someone â€“ inside us who tells us there is more to life than sitting in the boat. You were made for something more than merely avoiding failure. There is something inside you that wants to walk on water â€“ to leave the comfort of routine existence and abandon yourself to the high adventure of following God. Your boat is whatever pulls you away from the high adventure of extreme discipleship.â€
I have learned that being a Christ-follower is a life of excitement and adventure. Challenges are a part of living. How we deal with the storms is up to us and â€œwalking on waterâ€ isnâ€™t necessarily easy. But I love the idea of living on the edge with a mindset that God has an incredible purpose for me â€“ for each of us.