Perseverance v Focus
Often, when I teach and preach around the topic of chaos perseverance is the point. Scripture contains many stories that champion the importance of perseverance. As we encounter challenge and adversity we are taught that not only should we push our way through it, but that God’s grace empowers us to push through it. Without a doubt perseverance is a message that we need to hear. I’ve come to realize that the simple message of perseverance presumes that I know which direction to travel. Chaos is the great disrupter. In the throws of a chaotic situation we can become tremendously disoriented and uncertain of which way to turn. The key to finding our way is having a star to steer by.
Consumed By the Chaos
Chaos can be consuming. While many of us experience chaos as a regular part of our life, the swirl of chaos can also swallow us up. How do we reach safety when the wind and waves that surround us threaten to drown us? This question is a core consideration in our Scripture for Sunday. In Matthew 14:22-33 we see the story of how, in the midst of a raging storm, Jesus comes to the storm-tossed disciples walking on the water. Peter, ever the incredulous one, essentially asks Jesus to invite him out onto the water. He trusts Jesus that much, however, when he becomes fearful of the wind and waves around him, Peter loses his focus on Jesus and begins to sink. I’m not so sure its that Peter didn’t actually trust Jesus, after all, he got out of the boat.
Keeping Our Eyes on Jesus
The point that Matthew is making as he tells this story to the church is the importance of staying focused on Jesus. We have a choice when the chaos swirls around us: Do we give into the storm and allow it to consume us? Or, do we trust in the presence and promise of the Christ who is with us? The Gospel reminds that the key to finding our way through the chaos rooted in our relationship with Jesus. We are called to have a faith that is built on emulating the life of Christ. We are to live, love and serve in precisely the same way that Jesus lived, loved and served. This is how we find our way through the chaos.