Why Would You Do That?
O you of little faith, why did you doubt? Matthew 14:31
The mishap I wrote of yesterday with my boatlift was hardly an isolated event of stupidity. The same boatlift once had another malfunction – it had some problems – and so, I tied the boat next to the lift, letting it float nearby while I worked. For some reason though, I had removed the boat’s plug and forgot about it. So, after working on the lift for a while, I looked over to see my boat nearly filled with water and resting on the bottom. I sank our boat.
This required some work to be done on the boat, which was beyond me, so I took it to the local service shop. There, I was given that look that I’ve given so many people over the years while working in the ER. It’s that look that says, What were you thinking?
It may be my imagination, but I hear a little of that tone in Jesus’ words to Peter in today’s passage. It had to be a proud moment for Jesus when Peter stepped out of the boat and walked on the water. Finally, he’s getting it! He’s keeping his eyes on me and making his feet follow. Even though Jesus must have known what was coming, it had to be disappointing to see Peter’s eyes turn from him, being distracted by the world around him.
Peter walked on water, doing the impossible. Why would he look away from Jesus? He had to know the consequences. Still, he couldn’t not look at the terrors around him. Once he did, he sank. In mortal peril, he cried out to Jesus, who saved him from himself and then asked that stinging question. Why? You had one job, to keep your eyes on me. Why did you look away (my paraphrase)?
It’s got to be more than a little frustrating to be God, watching us cause ourselves misery upon misery. Continually, he says, Look to me. Turn your life towards me. I won’t guide you wrong. In me you can know life, joy, recovery and peace. Still though, like Peter, we’re easily distracted, sinking ourselves (or the boat), causing sorrow and pain. On our own, we drown. If we want to know the life God intends for us, then we must daily – sometimes a hundred times a day – choose to turn our eyes and our lives towards him.