Posted on September 27, 2015
Posted on September 27, 2015
Last Sunday evening, my friend and I were looking out at the reflection of the moon as it hung over the dark, black sea on the coast of Cambria, California. It was the last night of our girls getaway weekend, and we were enjoying the cool night air after a long, sweltering day.
As I stared out at the reflection, I noticed that the moon carved out a wide path of light. At the very farthest out, there was a dome of bright light that seemed like a destination. The path of light leading toward it was jagged and disconnected in places. Big sections of the path were missing, making the path seem dark and dangerous along the way.
I thought about Peter, when Jesus called him out on the water to walk with him.
“Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” Jesus said. (Matthew 14:28-29)
One word. One request. One command. Come. Out on the treacherous water. Out on the jagged path that isn’t completely clear. Come.
“If it is you…” Peter said, doubting that the man walking toward them on the water was really Jesus. Then, he called on his courage and he did it. He got out of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. Can you imagine what that was like?
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus caught him, pulled him up and reminded him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” (v. 30-31)
As I stared at the moonlit path on the water, I wondered aloud, “See how there are pieces missing? Out there, way out there, there is a destination, but I can’t see the entire way there.” As the earth continued its rotation, and the moon rose higher in the sky, the path began to change. It became more narrow, more connected, more sharp and focused toward the destination in the distance. It seemed as if I could step out and walk that path all the way to the end of the light.
It occurred to me today, that last weekend’s trip, ending with my pondering the moon, was taken on a dimly lit, jagged and uncertain path. We intentionally set out without concrete plans, without hotel reservations, without certainty of how far we would drive, what sights we would see. My “inner planner” was struggling to settle in to having no plans. I’m always rushing off to the next “event” whether it be a conference call, meeting or making dinner. It required focus to relax and not be rushed toward a destination, one that didn’t even exist no less.
Sometimes, instead of trying to head toward a certain and safe destination, I just need to come. Jesus wants me to come away, come clean, come closer, come out. He asks me to trust, to have faith that the path will become clear. He isn’t bothered by my doubt. I say, “Is it really you?” and he says, “Yes it is, come.” When I become afraid and think I might sink, he reaches his hand down to me and pulls me up so I won’t drown. I can trust that he will always reach for me.
I have choices and decisions, big and small. Often I forget that I don’t walk the path alone. When the way seems unclear, will I trust that if I just take the next step and the next, the path will become clearer? When the way seems treacherous and scary, as if it will swallow me up, will I trust that if I reach my hand for my Savior, he will reach his out for me?
Tonight, we’ll get to see the lunar eclipse. How I wish I were by the sea in Cambria to watch the lighted path be extinguished in the shadows. As you gaze at the moon’s beauty this evening, remember who holds your hand, who’s calling you to come. And then do it.