Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Sink or Sit

My friend, Ron Lush, sent me this excerpt taken from: In a Pit with Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson, pages 114-115

Sink or Sit

Peter gets a bum rap. Peter is the disciple who denied Christ three times, but he was the only one who got close enough to Jesus to get caught. Peter is the disciple who impulsively cut off Malchus' ear when the lynch mob came to arrest Jesus, but he was the only one who came to Jesus' defense. And he is the disciple who sinks in the Sea of Galilee , but he was also the only disciple who walked on water.
It's so easy to criticize Peter from the comfortable confines of the boat.
I think there are two kinds of people in the world: creators and criticizers. There are people who get out of the boat and walk on water. And there are people who sit in the boat and criticize water walkers.
Here is what I think: Sinking is better than sitting.
I'd rather get wet than have a numb gluteus maximus. When everything is said and done, I think our greatest regrets will be the God-ordained risks we didn't take. We won't regret sinking. We will regret sitting. In the words of German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, “Hell begins the day God grants you the vision to see all that you could have done, should have done, and would have done, but did not do.”
Anything less than getting out of the boat is spiritual voyeurism.
It is so easy to criticize water walkers from the comfortable confines of the boat. But I think the other eleven disciples were haunted by this missed opportunity. Think about it. They could have walked on water. But they chose to stay in the boat. They missed a once-in- a-lifetime opportunity because they weren't willing to take a God -ordained risk.

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jtc said...

Overcoming adversity, unlearning fears, embracing uncertainty ... I'm gonna have to pick that book up! Good stuff.

Liam said...

There is so much here. Thanks for sharing. "Its better to try and fail, than fail to try, then Yoda says Do or Do not there is no try.
Water walkers, risk takers, impetuous Peter, conservative risk aversers, how do we get rid of the baggage that keeps us in the boat.

monkwater said...

Great book! This is one resource that initiated a movement in my church to sink or sit. Make or break this year we're stepping out. Good to hear you. Jimmy

Jonathan Foster said...

Yeah, kind of reminds me of the dwarf guy in lord of rings... "Little chance of survival? Certainty of death? Count me in!"

"How do we get rid of the baggage that keeps us in the boat?"

Pete had to learn to keep his eyes on Jesus.

Anonymous said...

my thoughts on the baggage that keeps us in the boat... it's not like there are handles right... it is sort of tied on metaphorically... we gotta jump in...the baggage hopefully will float away as we are struggling after Jesus. Good luck with that!!

Jonathan Foster said...

hmmm... there's some truth to that... if you worry too much about the baggage you'll get bogged down. just jump in!

Liam said...

Baggage, as real as it may seem is still our perception. God asks us to leave it with him, cares, worries, baggage, stuff. Our inability to do this allows a build up...oh that grimy build up like a bathtub ring..its definitely scrubbable in the hands of He who is the lover of our souls. This is not to throw guilt on those dealing with sludge. Although it may be perception, this is our reality and the pain is real, the coping is still hard. My prayer, we all allow God to define our realities and we do our part by taking the steps of faith to walk our way into new perceptions with Him.

Jonathan Foster said...

very well put, liam, thanks.

These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. Colossians 2:17