To Step out of the Boat or not?

I've been trying to make a decision; specifically, whether to carry on and do a sixth year as churchwarden. When I took the job on, it was on the tacit understanding that it was for six years, but I've had two pretty tough years, and had been feeling as though I really didn't want to carry on. Lately though, things have been looking up; I'm feeling much better about life, the universe and wardening.

So that leaves me to try to discern whether I ought to carry on or not. There are plenty of other exciting opportunities beckoning me. And Linda may be taking a Sabbatical from next August - so there are plenty of other things 'beckoning me'. Should I take the risk - 'step out of the boat' and 'walk on the water'? Or would I simply be running away from what God wants me to do, but which I've found so hard lately?

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:22-33

When I read the bible, I see plenty of people who accept challenges God places before them, but I also see those whose biggest challenge isn't to step out to follow God, but to follow Him right where they are. The biggest risk can be to continue with the hard thing one is doing at the time, honouring God day in and day out when it doesn't really feel like much of an adventure at all. It might be that Jesus wants me to step out of the boat, but he might also just want me to keep rowing the boat!

I have a strong suspicion that what I decide doesn't really matter - God is big enough to bring something good out of either path. In the absence, yet, of any firm steer in another direction, my inclination at this moment is to stick with the original 'tacit understanding', and carry on to do a sixth year… Assuming, of course, that someone doesn't stand against me and beat me in the election in April.

Copyright Phil Hendry, 2022