Monday, 10 June 2013


One of our most memorable family moments, retold again and again, is our jet boat ride off the coast of Pembrokeshire. Fitted with life-jackets, we clambered into the boat and set off around various islands to spot seals. Much to the boys delight, and my terror, the boat driver decided to make it a more interesting trip by speeding into the open waters, circling round in 'doughnuts' so that the boat tipped up and bumping through crashing waves. Every time the boys re-tell the story, they laugh at my screams to them of 'HOLD ON!!!'. It really was terrifying (for me). But the worst of any ride in a boat for me is stepping on and off the side. Despite my utter relief at the end of the trip, I still had to make that climb off the boat.

Peter, in the bible, stepped off a boat too. His was a step of faith as he saw his friend Jesus walking on top of the water towards him. But as Peter decided to take the step, what did the others inside the boat feel? The boat was already being buffeted by the winds and Peter was about to make it a whole lot worse by stepping onto the side. You can't climb out of a boat without first putting your weight onto the side. When you do this, the boat rocks. It becomes unsteady until you are over the other side. What happened in that fishing boat, the moment the Peter stepped into the side? What did the fishermen shout to him? We will never know, but I can imagine that they were horrified that he was not only putting his own life in danger but theirs too as he rocked that already unsteady boat.

Sometimes taking a step of faith means we have to rock the boat. Peter cared about his friends, but he also knew that obeying his Master was of greater importance. Peter rocked that boat, and perhaps the faith of his fellow fisherman, by stepping out but the end result was that everyone in the boat worshipped Jesus and knew he was the Son of God.

How much are we willing to be boat-rockers in order to move ourselves and others forward in our faith? When we know that we must obey our Master, but everyone else in our boat is shouting at us to stop, what do we do? We fix our eyes on Him and we take that step. We wobble and we face uncertainty, but we put our faith in the One who has called us. We step out into the unknown in the knowledge that rocking the boat, whilst only the beginning of the journey, will bring about much-needed change in our lives and the lives of those around us.

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