"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!"
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" ~Matthew 14:28-31
Two weeks ago, I make a big mistake. Thinking I have room to squeeze past the car in front of me in order to secure access to the left-hand turn lane, I misjudge the distance and manage to scrape the side of the other vehicle, damaging my rearview mirror in the process. Fortunately for me and the other driver, a county police officer is right behind us, so we don't have to summon one to the scene.
No one is physically hurt, but I'm certainly shaken up. I haven't had a ticket in over 30 years, and that was for rolling through a stop sign. I know, of course, that this accident is all my fault. And as I sit in my car, waiting for the policeman to issue me a ticket, I have time to replay the whole incident, questioning how and why my mind could be so distracted as to cause my lapse in judgment.
It doesn't take long to pinpoint the reason for my less-than-attentive attitude. I'm returning home after a checkup with my pulmonologist. Do you recall how I refused to submit to the doctors taking a lung sample while I'm still in the hospital? Well, guess what they want to do now. You got it! I'm none too thrilled, to say the least, especially at the prospect of having my lungs temporarily collapsed. Even though Dr. Chan assures me there is no hurry to have the procedure done, he is adamant about going through with it, and schedules me to meet with a pulmonary surgeon at the end of April.
Okay, so there's my excuse for failing to be on my game when I get in this accident, but it really isn't an excuse. When I get behind the wheel, my one and only focus should be on safe driving. If uninvited thoughts intrude, I should pull over and take time to pray about what's troubling me. Had I taken time to refocus my thoughts on Jesus, I'm sure peace of mind would have returned to me, and this unfortunate accident would have been avoided.
It's the same story with Peter. He is just fine walking on the water until he takes his eyes off Jesus. Distracted by his earthly fears of wind and waves, he loses sight of the One who can, and does, save him. How many times in our lives have we done the same, much to our shame and chagrin?
I don't like the fact that I had to learn this lesson the hard way, but I'm grateful to the Lord for His wake-up call. Losing my focus on Him could have resulted in a more dire circumstance. I'm so thankful for a slap on the wrist instead of a broken one.
How about you? Have you taken your eyes off Jesus only to be plunged into an abyss of your own making?