My husband, the pastor, has been working on a sermon this week about Peter walking on the water… and then, a few minutes later, sinking like a stone. I’m marveled with him at Peter’s exuberance, his willingness to get out of the boat and attempt something that seemed impossible. And I’ve been humbled right along with him when Peter’s enthusiasm turned to panic, when he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the waves crashing all around, when he started to sink.

Being  a writer is a little like being Peter. One minute, you’re walking on air, a local celebrity. You can do anything you set your mind to! The creative juices are flowing. People can’t wait to get their hands on your new book, a woman you don’t even know drives miles to get you to sign a copy of your book, and the morning show on Channel 3 asks you to speak about your successful writing career on their next show. The next, the local grocery store doesn’t want to carry your books any more, and the library in the town were your book is set only wants your latest release on their shelves if you donate a copy, and a handful of family members conspire to disown you because your books are too steamy.  I mean, what did you expect? Your publisher is small beans and your book is 300,000 millionth on Amazon.com. You’re not exactly Janet Evanovich.

And never will be, a little voice says.

I’m a lot more timid than Peter was. I’m the one that most likely stayed in the boat, clutching the gunwale,  half envying Peter for having the guts to do what he did, the other half absolutely sure that Peter was going to die.

It’s not that I don’t trust. It’s not that I don’t have faith, but I’m also pretty practical and inclined to pessimism at times. I’m scared to death of stormy weather.  Although there was that one time when I was a kid, when my sister talked me into climbing up on a ladder to the roof, to watch for tornadoes – in the middle of a tornado warning. I should have been in the basement. But it was so fun to take a chance and live on the wild side – just that once.

Every time I “let” you read one of my books, I’m taking a chance, stepping out of the boat,  climbing up on the roof to look for tornadoes. You may like me. You may think I’m a loser who should have stuck with running a bed and breakfast. Although, come to think of it, I take a chance every time I open the doors of my tea house, dish up a meal that I’ve created, and invite you into my B&B. You may like my cooking. You may hate it. You may love my taste in art and covet my antiques. You may think my house is a cluttery mess.

Every day of my life, I have to make a choice. Do I listen to the voice that says, “Get out of the boat. Reach out and take Jesus’ hand.  Have faith. Go for it.” Or, I can hunker down in the bottom of the boat and hang on for dear life, afraid to poke my head up and live.

Here’s to walking on water.

In closing, I’d like to share the words of a song called “Voice of Truth”. The Christian rock group Casting Crowns says what’s on my heart more perfectly than I ever could.

Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns

Oh,what I would do to have
the kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I’m in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realm of the unknown
Where Jesus is,
And he’s holding out his hand

But the waves are calling out my name
and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I’ve tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
time and time again
“Boy, you’ll never win,
You you’ll never win

But the Voice of truth tells me a different story
the Voice of truth says “do not be afraid!”
and the Voice of truth says “this is for My glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth

Oh, what I would do
to have the kind of strength it takes
To stand before a giant
with just a sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound
of a thousand warriors
shaking in their armor
Wishing they’d have had the strength to stand

But the giant’s calling out
my name and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times
I’ve tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
time and time again
“Boy you’ll never win,
you’ll never win.”

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
the Voice of truth says “do not be afraid!”
and the Voice of truth says “this is for My glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth

But the stone was just the right size
to put the giant on the ground
and the waves they don’t seem so high
from on top of them looking down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
when I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
singing over me

But the Voice of truth tells me a different story
The Voice of truth says “do not be afraid!”
And the Voice of truth says “this is for my glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me (calling out to me)
I will choose to listen and believe (I will choose to listen and believe)
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth

I will listen and believe
I will listen and believe the Voice of truth
I will listen and believe
‘Cause Jesus you are the Voice of truth
And I will listen to you.. oh you are the Voice of truth

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