This year my New Year's resolution is a little different than in past years. No more thinking small. Sure, I would like to eat better, move more, and drop off unecessary habits that waste my time. But rather than focus on the minnows of limitation nipping at my toes, I would like to go after the big fish of fear that would tell me I can't get out of the boat and express my unlimited potential for good. And I think I can do this in four steps.
It's exciting to embrace new views of God (Step 1) and to let the Christ mobilize you to move and express the unlimited possibilities of good (Step 2). This is what it means to W.O.W.
Peter did. He walked on water. Why can't we? Why have a small expectation of good?!
When Peter stepped out of the boat, his fisherman's perspective on the prospects of success at water-walking tried to sink him, but Peter overcame the resistance with a helping hand.
Today's Step 3 is all about finding stability as we take each forward step.
Peter had baggage. Jesus showed him the possibilities of freedom from material limitations, but Peter's past experiences argued that waterwalking wasn't wise. He stepped out in faith, but his faith was hobbled somewhat by fear. Until the hand, that is. Matthew's gospel tells us, "But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" (14:30)
According to Newton's 3rd law of motion, "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." This reaction is sometimes referred to as "resistance". To Peter, resistance to walking on water was a normal, inevitable, unavoidable phenomenon. As a fisherman, he had seen winds and waves like this before. He was afraid of a material law of motion that declared walking on water to be a risky business.
What saved Peter from fear was the "stretched forth hand" of Jesus. This wasn't his personal hand, but rather the same hand that was holding up Jesus. The possessive adjective "his" in the phrase "Jesus stretched forth his hand" is in italics in the King James Bible, indicating that the word was added in by translators to make sense of the passage.
The hand that caught Peter was the stretched forth hand of divine Principle, God - the spiritual Law that allowed Jesus to prove material resistance to be nothing more than a mental suggestion, and nothing to either fear or accept.
In fact, Jesus reminded Peter that his little faith - the same faith that got him to step out of the boat onto the water - was enough to stabilize his walk. "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" he asked. I don't think Jesus was knocking a small faith. To me, he was saying, "Don't you realize what you have?" Jesus knew that a tiny mustard-seed faith could move mountains. It could certainly move off fear when that faith was planted in God.
Mary Baker Eddy said, "Had Blondin believed it impossible to walk the rope over Niagara's abyss of waters, he could never have done it. His belief that he could do it gave his thought‐ forces, called muscles, their flexibility and power which the unscientific might attribute to a lubricating oil. His fear must have disappeared before his power of putting resolve into action could appear." (Science and Health, p. 199)
So here is my sum-up of step 3 -
- I resolve to let the hand of Christ - the God-Principle that creates and enforces spiritual law and overcomes material resistance - lift me above any suggestons of doubt or fear that would interfere with my walking on water.
- I resolve to accept that my faith, however small, is more powerful than doubt.
- I will accept the extraordinary phenomena of divine Spirit into my life and will not fear the consequences.
My guess is, we all know someone who would love to walk on water but is having trouble taking the first steps. If so, please help out by emailing, Google + ing, tweeting, posting, or megahorning the link out your window, so that others can find it, too.
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