A variant on Peter picked a pepper?
No – just some leftovers from this morning’s ruminations on the Gospel of Matthew’s account of Peter walking on the water and sinking.
I would never dare use such a pretentious alliterative phrase anywhere else but here. I reiterate the view, however, that Peter was not being typically stupid and impetuous in acting as he did. This story did the rounds of the early Christian communities for a reason – and it had nothing to do with tripping the light fantastic across the waves.
It is about ultimate trust. You can stay in the safety of the boat or clamber out and walk on the midnight terror that buffets your worst fears and anxieties. Peter tried the latter and found himself beginning to be overwhelmed. The fact that he refocused on the “I am” in the person of Jesus vindicated his initial impulse, however.
The failure of Peter was not that he tried the impossible and sank. His failure was in reaching out to express a movement towards higher consciousness and discovering it requires even greater effort in trusting that which pulls one forward.
Maybe not a failure at all when you consider the alternative of remaining and cowering paralysed with fear in the boat!
One of many considerations to winkle out of this very evocative passage.