Ready! Set! Go!

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

 Matthew 14:27-29 NIV

This is the well-known passage in which Jesus beckons to Peter to come out of the boat and meet him by walking on water.  Peter disembarks courageously and begins to walk as instructed.  This is short-lived however, as Peter is distracted by the terror of the wind around him.

The many messages that I have heard on this passage have typically focused on what Peter DIDN'T do.  They have concluded that Peter looked at the circumstances and failed to keep his eyes on Jesus.  But what did he do RIGHT?

  1. He recognized Christ's voice.
  2. He obeyed Christ's command and got out of the boat despite his fear.
  3. He accomplished something that he thought was impossible.
  4. He called for help as he was sinking. 

How reinforcing this entire experience must have been for Peter, an individual who struggled with impulsivity and judgmentalism.  Peter showed a readiness to do something he had never done before on his way to a purpose of leading the early church. This passage demonstrates how he took his first step towards that ultimate goal.

Many of us recall, as children, running races where the pre-activity instructive refrain was “ready, set, go!”.  The word “ready” would create a sense of acute attention, as our eyes focused on the end point.  “Set” would result in a physiological response where our mind and body align on the objective of the task ahead – to win - our ears straining to create an advantageous response to the “go”.

The same concept applies to spiritual readiness.  It is the attitude of giving God the opportunity to create a quality that he desires for us or to remove a defect that hampers us – to successfully navigate a task before us.  Sometimes, all we need is the courage to obey God for the first step.  The quality of outcome is not as important as the step of obedience. 

How would you gauge your readiness to overcome the shortcoming that has constantly beset you?  How ready are you to achieve the goal that has consistently occupied your mind?  How about the relationship that strains for your attention?  The difficulty of the task may seem gargantuan.  However, we serve a God who desires a readiness only for the first step – asking for help; applying the first bit of effort; calling that friend or family member.  God commits to providing the support, where and when needed.

Ready! Set! Go!

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