Books


In part one I talked about how we clearly need to get out of our boat before we can walk on the water.  Now, in part two, I’ll talk about the question that inevitably burns through us, “What happens if our ‘buddies’ don’t want to get out of the boat with us?”

 

To answer this question, let’s go back to the story; Peter wasn’t the only one in the boat that day.  Remember, his buddies were in the boat with him?  In fact, there were at least 11 people who stayed on the boat that day while they watched their friend walk on water

 

These weren’t just any old “11 people”, these were people Peter was very intimate with, his closest friends; yet, Peter himself was the only one who got out of the boat that day and walked on water.

 

I wonder how Peter must have felt that day.

 

I wonder if you ever looked with longing at the water that you wanted to walk on, then turned around and looked at your friends who are comfortable in the boat beside you; and I wonder if, in that moment, you longed for them to go water walking with you?

 

I wonder if you’ve felt hurt, sadness, or even anger at your friends, because they wouldn’t go water walking with you? 

 

I wonder if you’ve ever maybe even debated whether or not to walk on the water if your friends weren’t going to join you?

 

I wonder if when you have walked on the water, upon returning to the boat, have you ever wanted to look at your friends and say, “Come on, let’s go back out there, I’ll walk on the water with you – I mean, if I did it, anyone can!  Take my hand, we’ll do it together, let’s go.”  I also wonder if you’ve known in that moment that you can’t say that to them – because, if they really believed they could walk on the water, or even wanted to walk on the water, they would have done so in the first place. 

 

Do you wonder how I could possibly know you’ve felt these things?  Well, I know, because I’ve been there, done that.  I’ve felt all those feelings and I’ve been at the crossroads of my life where I had the choice to walk on the water myself or stay behind in whatever comfort zone I was in with my “buddies”…I will tell you, without a doubt, that I will always cherish those moments in my life when I stepped out of the boat, despite the fact that, many of those times, friends didn’t go water walking with me.

 

Trust me, it’s these pivotal moments in time that will change the course of your life forever and in the most positive ways you can imagine.

 

I’ll end this by saying that I highly encourage you to take the “water walking” scenarios you are facing in your own life now and go, walk on the water!  Walk on the water, despite the fact that in that moment it may be just you, while your friends stay in the comfort of their boats.  It’s worth it, trust me, and you’ll never be the same.

A friend recently gave me an unforgettable gift – a book, “If you want to walk on the water, you’ve got to get out of the boat.”  The book was referencing the story in the Bible about Peter walking on water…however, no matter your religious affiliation, the concepts I gathered from the book could help anyone in their own life.

 

Let me set up this incredible “walking on water” story for you…There’s this fisherman named Peter who is out in the middle of the sea on a boat with his buddies, when the wind picks up and starts tossing their boat around… Peter and his friends fight to keep the boat steady, all the while staying inside this boat that’s like a second home to them (remember they’re fishermen)….Now, please understand that this boat is very familiar to them and a huge comfort zone for them; in fact, with their way of life, they spend much of their lives inside the boat…To them, staying in this boat is way safer than going into the wavy sea that is moving all around them…

 

In the middle of this, and out of no where, they see a friend of theirs, Jesus, walking on the water towards them…at first, they think He’s a ghost – then they realize, whoa, this is definitely Jesus…Peter, known among his friends for his impetuous behavior, yells out, “Jesus, if that’s really you, call me out there and I’ll come meet you.”  Jesus calls back, “It is I. Come”, so Peter literally gets out of this boat (what would seem to any logical person to be the only safe place to be at that moment) and decides he is going to actually walk on the water to meet Jesus…and it works!  This ordinary guy literally walks on liquid….seriously…

 

There are many angles and lessons to this story, but the one that I want to focus on is the very fact that a human being walked on water…And, that he “got out of a boat” before he did this remarkable thing.

 

It strikes me that more than once in my own life I’ve been “on a boat” so to speak, when “high winds” have hit me, and I had a decision to either “stay on the boat” (my safe zone), or “get out of the boat and walk on water”…

 

It also strikes me that it’s only in the times of my life when I made the decision to get out of my boat that I’ve been able to do an extraordinary thing like walk on water.

 

The author puts it this way:

 

“If you don’t get out of the boat, there’s a guaranteed certainty that you will not walk on the water.  This is an immutable law of nature…

 

There is something – Someone – inside us who tells us there is more to life than sitting in the boat.  You were made for something more than merely avoiding failure.  There is something inside you that wants to walk on the water – to leave the comfort of routine existence and abandon yourself to the high adventure that awaits.

 

Let me ask you a very important question: What’s your boat?

 

Your boat is whatever represents safety and security to you…whatever you are keeps you so comfortable that you don’t want to give it up, even if it’s keeping you from walking on water…

 

Want to know what your boat is?  Your fear will tell you.  Just ask yourself this:  What is that most produces fear in me – especially when I think of leaving it behind and stepping out onto the water…”

 

I’m not the world’s greatest poet…nor have I ever really enjoyed reading poetry. Okay, okay, don’t look at me like that – because, lately, I’ve been gravitating towards reading poetry in order to develop the artistic side of myself…and I have learned to truly enjoy it in all its forms.

 

Gibran Khalil Gibran, renowned Lebanese poet has become one of my favorite writers…You’ve probably come across some of his famous writings, including The Prophet and Broken Wings.

 

Most recently, I was reading a letter he wrote three years before his death and was taken back that the words in this letter were written years after he’d published some of his most treasured works, like The Prophet.

 

I copied the below directly from his letter:

 

“…Then, I return to myself and remember that there is one word I must say before I depart…No, I have not said my word yet, and nothing but smoke has come out from this light…If I don’t depart before I spell and pronounce my word, I will return to say the word which is now hanging like a cloud in the sky of my heart…”

 

“…Why did I write all those articles and stories? I was born to live and suffer and to say one living and winged word, and I cannot remain silent until Life utters that word through my lips….However, my word is still in my heart, and it is a living and winged word which I must utter…”

Did you catch that? Gibran Khalil Gibran was saying that he still had a “word” within him. We don’t know what this “word” is – yet, Gibran regretted not communicating it to the rest of the world…Please realize he still felt that way despite the fact that he’d already given so many beautiful “words” to the world.

 

I started thinking to myself, “If this man, who wrote such beautiful writings all of his life, feels so strongly at this point in his life that he had something within him…something he hadn’t yet communicated to the world…where does that leave me? What is on my heart…inside my soul…that I’ve been uniquely given and called to say…that I haven’t yet said to the world?”

 

I challenge you with the same question…What is that “word” within you that needs to come out to the world…or even to an individual person?  You know it’s there – maybe it’s always been there – and now is the time to let the world, or that person, see, hear or read it…I encourage you to write a poem, start a blog, give a speech, make that phone call…whatever it is you need to do, just let that “word” come out, so that you don’t lie on your deathbed regretting that you never did.

 

Until the next time,

Josephine