Play that funky music, White Boy!
I have been here before. I have felt this feeling before. I have tasted it, smelt it, seen it all before. Its not a good feeling to be here again.
“You need to learn to trust.” I have heard multiple times lately.
“I need to trust more.” I told my counselor.
“I am learning to trust.” I told friends.
“Why can’t I trust?” I whisper to myself.
“Why don’t you trust?” my counselor asked.
“Shoot.” I whispered.
Trust is hard for me. I don’t know if it is that I don’t feel worthy of the adoration of God or the partnership of others. I don’t know if it is that I have let expectations soar and watched them crash. I don’t know if it is just fear of not being in control. I don’t know if it is just genetic. Whatever it is, I timidly trust and lean into something slowly, testing it, before jumping in.
When Peter and the disciples were on the crashing waves and Jesus walks on water out to them, he asks Jesus to prove it is Him. Before I go on, you are in the middle of a gigantic lake and something or someone walks up to you. Is your first thought that it must be Jesus? I’d have been thinking zombie waaaay before I was thinking Jesus. It seems to me that Peter was going through the stages of growth in Faith. He asked Jesus to call out to him. That is belief. It is the understanding that there really is something other than you on the crashing waves. It is the first step. The world is crashing around, people are in various conditions of panic all around you. You feel sick, jostled, harranged, frustrated, scared, and you ask the simple question, “Are you there God?”
Jesus answers and calls Peter out of the boat. That is trust. He throws his leg over and steps out of the boat. The story doesn’t say he tests the water with his big toe. IT doesn’t say he slowly lowers himself over the edge of the boat and holds on until his footing feels secure. He doesn’t dare Andrew to do it instead. He steps out. That’s trust that it is God and He won’t lead you astray.
He starts to walk toward Jesus and sinks to his knees. He cries out for Jesus to save Him. Jesus does, immediately. Now that’s Faith. Cry out to Jesus when you need help. It doesn’t say he whined, “Why me?” It doesn’t say he cursed Jesus for his wet knees or for making him step out of the boat in the first place. (I personally would have cursed a few times.) It says he asked for help and was immediately accompanied by Jesus. And then Jesus climbs into the boat with Peter. He is with him in the turmoil of the world. He is beside him with the chaotic disciples. Then he calms the waves.
My funky music is the continued struggle to trust. I really do want to trust myself, others, and God. I have examples of each that would say trustworthy. I have been saved from a seemingly helpless state of mind and body. I have confronted and walked through some incredibly trying times. I have been loved, supported, and held accountable by glorious people. Still, I play the same old song.
I was reminded of the scene in Indiana Jones. Indiana’s father is dying and he has to get the grail. He approaches a cavern and a deep chasm. He has to get to the other side. He is told the bridge is there, but isn’t so sure. He hears the whisper of his father, urging him forward. He trusts. He steps out onto the invisible bridge. IT was pointed out that taking a little step is very scary. Sometimes it requires the right motivation.
I have replayed that thought in my mind over and over again. I started thinking about how I asked for help in regards to helping my daughters through our divorce. I started thinking about trusting the counselors to stay slow instead of rushing in headlong. I started thinking about taking the bus driving job while I was pursuing restarting or recreating a career. I thought of feeling like I could like myself again. I thought about being shown people I could trust and shown people I had trusted in error. I started to think about seeing myself deliberately living into life and not just giving up. I heard my daughters internal voices, urging me forward. I knew that to not take the next step would kill part of them. And I took that step.
Play it again, maybe it will mean something different this time.