We all know the story. After Jesus multiplied the fish and loaves to feed thousands, His disciples found themselves out at sea in a vicious storm and became terrified. That terror was multiplied when they saw what seemed to be ghost in the distance, but that figure turned out to be their Master ( Matthew 14:28). Peter’s initial faith that his Lord could help him meet Him out at sea faltered and, becoming afraid, he began to sink until saved by Christ’s reach. I do not wish to focus here on Jesus the Savior reaching out to us beyond our own limitations, or Peter, displaying that annoying swing between great faith and great doubt. Rather, I propose that we look at what I will call The Myth of The Boat. What does that boat represent here? Why is that boat a myth?
I suggest that the boat represents our comfort zone, that place where we feel in control of our world, of our present, and of our future. Common sense dictates that, when facing a decision between two places, most people will tend to choose the safer place. Thus, Peter’s initial belief was that Jesus was the safer Place in contrast to the boat he knew so well. However, very soon thereafter, Peter’s doubt and lack of faith in Christ caused him to hesitate, to, at least for a moment, believe that he was better off in the boat than out on a limb reaching for Christ. That hesitation was enough to make Peter sink in the sea of his own humanity, his own doubts and insecurities and, I propose, in the ironic sea of his own arrogance. I know it sounds strange to say that Peter was insecure yet arrogant at the same time. However, as many behavioral scholars will tell you, arrogance is often the attempt to cover up for insecurities. How many times are we so arrogant that we believe we know better than Jesus, that we know what is better, or safer, for us than our own Savior does?
That boat, then, represents, our ego, so fixated on our perceived greatness that it ironically evokes our greatest weakness in the end. That boat is a myth, of course, because it is only when we realize that the boat is a pathetic substitute for Christ, that this boat will eventually sink, that it is a big lie on the sea, that we can then ditch that boat for Christ. God controls the wind, and the wind pulls the sails which guide the boat, so how can we possibly believe that the boat is a safe, controlled, place to be? That, in a nutshell, is the lie of the secularist, who believes that he or she is running the show, driving the bus, steering the wheel, on the boat.
Make it a habit to ditch the boat whenever your Jesus calls you, for those who think themselves the king of the world on that boat will only witness their sinking delusions, but those who gaze upon the King of The Universe will never sink.
Copyright, 2014, Gabriel Garnica. All rights reserved.