BY DR. AGONSON
I write this a young man; my faith has not been tested as some have been tested, but to here put forward a landmark, a milestone, I write of my meagre faith.
I may have first heard Andrew Klavan bring out this humor: Christ describes Peter as one of little faith. This is Saint Peter, of course, the one who a few verses ago jumped out of a boat and walked on water—at least a short ways—before becoming afraid, at which point he started sinking. I have not walked on water; I can’t imagine what would describe my faith aptly, but given Peter’s performance review, perhaps the term micro would be involved.
In the book of James we are told that faith without works is dead. How frightening. Few of us, “anyone? anyone?” have performed mighty miracles like this man of only little faith. Yet few of us are told by Christ to come when he’s literally standing over tossing, billowing waves. We are called, though, and like Peter we must leave our boats, metaphorically at least.
And here are my thoughts as I prepare to leave my metaphorical boat:
But Christ put me here. Jesus told his disciples, which includes Peter for those of you keeping track at home, to get into the boat and go to such and such a place.
Christ wouldn’t tell me to do something if I couldn’t do it, and he told me to go somewhere in this boat. The boat found the wind contrary, and was struggling to go where Christ sent it.
It was in said condition that Christ came to the disciples, and they were pretty freaked out by this as he was walking on the stormy water which is something men don’t generally do.
I am at a point in life where I think I see Christ standing outside of where he put me, standing in a realm of chaos and confusion.
And I shout out and say: “If this is you, God, call me!”
I must leave the boat.
When you’re teaching a dog to come—and let’s face it, I am a gentile—you take the dog, tell it to stay, walk away some distance, and command it, “Come.” You do this over and over, you increase the distance, and eventually the dog learns to come when you call. Often, like Peter, they don’t quite make it the first time.
So, I now aspire to Peter’s little faith, something I have yet to achieve, and pray I keep my eyes on Jesus, the way, the truth, and the life.