Andy Denen

Ideas on life, church, and culture.

“Get Out!” (What’s My Boat Part? 1)

Have you ever walked into a bathroom when someone else is using it? Yeah. It’s the worst. I honestly don’t know who it traumatizes more… the person using the bathroom or the person intruding.

So. Much. Vulnerability.

And sometimes the person being walked in on tries to be so polite, “There’s someone in here.” A gentle tone, a calm demeanor. I feel like it’s ok to be completely rude in the moment. “GET OUT!” “DON’T COME IN HERE!” Who is going to close the door and go, “Wow, they were really mean. I can’t believe they didn’t want me to walk in on them when they were in one of the most vulnerable embarrassing situations known to man.” Of course, there is a line, there’s no need to be insulting someone for accidentally walking in on your or wish a curse on their family or anything crazy like that, but you get the point. Sometimes, being told to “Get Out!” can be a good thing. Birds get pushed out of nests when they are ready to start flying, whether they realize it’s time to start flying or not, they are out the door. High school students transition into college life and realize things about themselves they would have never known had they stayed under the safety and security of their parents roof. We love to hear those stories of people striking out on their own, achieving goals, “finding themselves,” accomplishing great things, but we do not like it as much when we’re the ones being pushed out or challenged or forced into uncomfortable situations.

One of my favorite stories of all time is the Bible story of Peter walking on water. Jesus sent the disciples away for a little bit while he took some time alone to pray and a storm arose and the water on the lake was thrashing the boat. The disciples feared for their lives until something took their attention away from the storm. Off in the distance, through the rain and waves they saw a figure that looked like it was coming towards them. But they were out on the water, this figure couldn’t be coming towards them, they were on a boat… in a storm.

But as the figure got closer and closer they feared the worst, “A ghost!” they said… I’m not sure why that was their first reaction, of course it’s not normal to see something walking on water towards you, in a storm, but that’s what they thought. A ghost was coming for them and they were going to live a 1st century version of the Curse of the Black Pearl, Pirates of the Caribbean style. But the figure shouted back, “Take couarge! It is I. Do not be afraid.”

Thank you. I feel better now.

The figure didn’t identify himself as Jesus, but somehow the disciples knew (maybe we can learn something from that… if we get to know the voice of our Savior during the good times, when times get rough and we can’t see clearly, we can rely on his voice to give us peace… different post). Anyway, Peter gets crazy bold and says, “Jesus, if that’s you, tell me to come out on the water to you.”

Um… Peter? I know this is pretty intense and all, but it’s really storming out here and it’s taking all of us just to keep this boat from capsizing and we’d all really like it if you stayed. We don’t want to add “rescue Peter” to our list of things to do right now. I’m sure the disciples were thinking something along those lines. But Jesus gave a quick, one word response,

“Come.”

Peter did something crazy and it’s something I want to do everyday of my life. He got out of the comfort of the boat, and did. Not. Sink. At first. He actually walked a few steps towards Jesus ON TOP OF THE WATER. Crazy, I know. But he did it. Now, eventually Peter took his eyes off Jesus and got hyper focused on the storm, which we can all relate to, and he started to sink. Jesus had to hurry over and rescue him because that’s what Jesus does when we need Him. There’s a ton we can learn from this story, but primarily I want to challenge you to GET OUT! Focus your eyes on Jesus and take a risk. Be crazy.

Scary stuff for sure. But worth it. No one else can say they walked on water. Peter can. Maybe you’re struggling in a relationship, maybe you’ve got an addiction, maybe you have guilt, shame, fear, anger or whatever, the first step in all of these things is to do what Peter did… focus on Jesus.

That’s it. That’s all he did. He didn’t train to become a “water walker.” He didn’t give a bunch of money in the offering in order to earn the status of “one who floats on waves.” He simply focused his attention on Jesus.

Do that. First.

More to come..

andy ::