"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."
"Come," he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
When the tides of life turn against you,
And the current upsets your boat,
Don't waste those tears on what might have been.
Just lay on your back and float.
~Ed Norton (Art Carney), The Honeymooners episode: Safety Award
My parents love watching the television series, The Honeymooners, when it first airs in the 1950s. They don't miss an episode! Years after it goes off the air, Mom discovers that one of our local stations shows reruns late at night once a week. She tunes in religiously and, sometimes, gets my Dad to stay up past his bedtime to join her.
So, when VCRs arrive on the scene and videos of old movies and television shows flood the stores, my brother, Bill, and I are delighted to see that The Honeymooners episodes are once again available. What great birthday and Christmas gifts these make for our parents who enjoy watching them over and over! They even introduce these to their grandchildren who take to them like ducks to water.
And, I'm privileged to see and truly appreciate these ingenious shows for the first time, too. I can't begin to tell you how many laughs we share when watching these as a family, and how many times either Mom or Dad would quote from one of the episodes when the saying fit the present situation.
A few nights ago, my husband, Danny, turns in early because he has to get up at 4:45 to go to work. I'm not sleepy, so I grab my headphones and access YouTube. I'm feeling nostalgic, so I decide to watch a Honeymooners. The one I settle upon is Safety Award.
I laugh! Loudly! But, I tear up when I see how Ralph's pride leads to adversity. Every. Single. Time.
Norton's comforting words, quoted at the beginning of this post, are not in the least appreciated by Ralph in this story. He is so hyped up on his own glory of winning the award for the safest bus driver of the year, he can't deal with anything which, seemingly and senselessly, interferes with getting his accolades.
Like Ralph, Peter is not to be outdone. Tossed in the storm with the other disciples, his pride propels him to ask Jesus to help him walk upon the choppy sea. The Lord speaks one word.
And, Peter, overly confident in his own ability, unable to "lay on (his) back and float," fails to trust Jesus enough to successfully approach Him. The Lord has to physically rescue Peter from his peril and panic.
Don't we all have a bit of Ralph and Peter in us? We face adversity or danger. Our every intent is to focus upon Jesus' saving grace. But, the next thing we know, we are not floating on His promise, but floundering in our own doubts, wondering how the Lord could possibly help us. Mistakenly assuming that we, and our efforts, are sufficient.
When the tides of life turn against us? Trust in Jesus.
When the current upsets our boat? Trust in Jesus.
Don't waste the tears! Trust in Jesus.
Lay on your back and float . . .
Jesus is calling,
I know I've had my share of "Peter/Ralph Moments" when I've failed to trust completely in Jesus. Have you had one of those? Maybe, more than one?
Prayer: Father, we are so grateful that, through Your power and glory, we can take the seemingly ordinary, like a television show, and allow it to inspire us to see the extraordinary message You wish to give us. Continue, we pray, to grant us this gift. To see Your miracles in life's simplest things. To love as You love. To inspire as You inspire. In Jesus' name, amen.