In an attempt to quiet my mind during morning prayer, I imagined being on my knees at Jesus’ feet. Something about being on our knees is immediately humbling. My attention soon shifted to a listening stance. In a few moments of just breathing and waiting, I sensed Jesus saying, “even though you’re tempted to get up and do-do-do in this early New Year, you are right to be here”. I understood in that moment, deep in my bones, the contentment Mary must have felt sitting by Jesus’ feet while her sister, busy-bee Martha, buzzed around being hospitable and annoyed Mary wasn’t helping. I understood how Jesus’ directives reign above all when we’re truly faithful.
Even though I so wanted to get up and rush into the day with fresh energy for New Year project inspirations, I knew the gale wind force of busyness would eventually lead me off-course. It always does. I trust the process of prayer for reminding us we belong on our knees first and foremost before we move forward with plans. Prayer and sacred time with God makes sure any busyness we undertake is purposeful, strengthening us to move forward fueled by grace.
Sitting a while longer, content, receptive, just listening, suddenly I sensed Jesus’ words jolting me from a state of bliss. I heard again, “walk on water‘”, a similar directive during my prayer time over the holidays — but I had forgotten.
As a filmmaker, I often imagine scenes in scripture like mini-movies, this time the rocking boat scene in Matthew 14:22-23 came alive:
At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits. “A ghost!” they said, crying out in terror.
But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.”
Peter, suddenly bold, said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come ahead.”
Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!”
Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, “Faint-heart, what got into you?”
The two of them climbed into the boat, and the wind died down.
I imagined myself walking toward Jesus upon a tumultuous sea. His calling for me makes sense. Afterall, my very little faith, on-and-off for the last year, has been spotty like polkadots on the fabric of my life. I’ve prayed for more faith, and journaled about wanting more trust in God, and here it is — a blatant call for radical faith from the one who calls.
Sometimes the calls we hear aren’t so radical — perhaps we’re called to rest, or to wait. Either way, we need to trust and we need to fall on our knees because sometimes waiting and rest are just as challenging as walking on water. I’ve been called to rest for long periods of time in my life, and as an achiever, it’s been as hard to slow down. I’ve also been called to wait for long, long periods of time for changes I have longed for. For instance, I married at 35 years old. I had a baby at 40 years old. For harrowing years I questioned and cried out on my knees, ‘will it ever happen?‘ — would getting pregnant at a later age after miscarriages, or married when all my friends, married, were having one or two children, ever happen for me? They did. They did. What grace.
In blind faith we’re called to listen for what God most wants for us, trusting that God’s plans for us are for good, and not to harm us, but to give us a future of hope.
Where do you sense God is calling you? Is it for waiting? For rest? For a job change? A move? For building a relationship? For radical faith? For walking on water?
Whatever your call, fall on your knees and await with eagerness for Christ’s divine instruction. Know with wonder in your heart, that your own tailor-made call comes with a miraculous unfolding, of splitting of Red Sea impossibilities, and a promised land ahead.
And then step out of your boat into the unwieldy sea toward Christ awaiting you with open arms.
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