One Thrilling Moment……….
Social media has captured America, and from what I see and read, much of the rest of the world. Once, “social” interaction meant talking face-to-face. It required the back-and-forth rhythm of conversation. Brief thought bursts spoken with no further commentary were not valued as congenial. Rather, giving a few terse words on a topic left the speaker appearing to be inept in social graces, discourteous, or just plain unfriendly.
Today, social media does not build strong bonds. It is mostly used for business promotions, political statements, video highlights, sports, and an occasional “brief” personal message “to whoever reads this”. I am fascinated by those that use the platform of social media to share a monumental moment in their lives. Electronic posts tell the world of their latest and greatest achievements in their sales group, athletic milestones, personal travel, or marital anniversaries. That way, that one great moment is shared with the media public for them to comment either favorably or with a snide remark about the person’s “moment in time”.
Anyone who takes the time to post an achievement is doing so because whatever they are marking as marvelous means a great deal to them. They feel that they have been victorious in a quest that previously would have been thought to be impossible. So, once achieved, they rejoice freely and openly for all to see.
Sadly, spiritually achievements are not frequently noted on social media. It is not the norm to read of one’s newest insight gleaned from studying their daily Bible reading. It is not common to read of God answering a long requested prayer in a tangible manner. It is not customary to hear of the salvation just experienced by a friend that has been the subject of one’s prayer and witnessing efforts for months. Perhaps, we believe those things to be too personal. Or maybe, we are just not actively pursuing spiritual things. Surely, a God-encounter would be Facebook Worthy! When people met God or saw Him work powerfully in previous eras, they could not contain their joy! They just had to tell “what they had seen and heard!”
“The decision to grow always involves a choice between risk and comfort. This means that to be a follower of Jesus, you must renounce comfort as the ultimate value of your life. And that’s sobering news to most of us, because we’re into comfort…but water-walkers master failure… Did Peter fail? Failure is not an event, but rather a judgment about an event. Failure is not something that happens to us or a label we attach to things. It is a way we think about outcomes…Did Peter fail?
Well, I suppose in a way he did. His faith wasn’t strong enough. His doubts were stronger. ‘He saw the wind.’ He took his eyes off of where they should have been. He sank. He failed. But here is what I think. I think there were eleven bigger failures sitting in the boat. They failed quietly. They failed privately. Their failure went unnoticed, unobserved, and uncriticized. Only Peter knew the shame of the public failure. But, only Peter knew other things as well. Only Peter knew the glory of walking on water. He alone knew what it was to attempt to do what he was not capable of doing on his own, then feeling euphoria of being empowered by God to actually do it. Once you walk on water, you never forget it–not for the rest of your life!”
(Ortberg, If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat, page 21-23).