Sunday, January 29, 2017
Excited and Ready
I remember the story of the young man in love with the girl just over the ridge and down in the next valley. Each week he would go see her and always he would profess his love as he left her on Saturday afternoon. He was more than eloquent for a young mountain boy. "For you I would swim the widest ocean, climb the highest mountain, and walk to the ends of the earth," he would frequently say during the day. And after he kissed her good-bye, he would always say, "I will see you next week if it doesn't rain!"
His words bring the story of Simon Peter to mind. After the supper was done and the feet were washed, Jesus seems to have had a long time of talking and teaching with the disciples. At one point Peter interrupts Jesus with a question and a declaration, "Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for You." (John 13:37) Of course, we know the rest of the story. Peter's heart was racing far ahead of his feet. In such a short time he would be the one cursing and denying he even knew Jesus.
Maybe the moral of the story is "Be careful what you promise," but I think there is more to what might be learned than this simplistic adage. There are times when we get caught up in the moment of being with Jesus. There are some encounters with Him which are mountain top in nature. Heaven and all its glory seems to be breaking in upon us. In those moments we cannot imagine anything but a Peter like spirit that professes absolute and unreserved devotion. Still, it is also true we can never know exactly where the road of discipleship will take us. It can be to some hard places. Remember Jesus prayed to the Father a prayer which asked if there was another way. So, if we have memories of acting like Peter, let us remember how hard the way was for Jesus and how certain is His understanding of us and His mercy for us.