Sorry for the gap in posting. I was at the Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus this past week. But today's Gospel (Matthew 14: 22-33) helped me realize that I have to stay focused, even when there are other things that try to distract me.
You see, that is what happened to Peter. When the Lord called him to come and walk on the water, Peter was able to do it because he was focused on the Lord. The scripture tell us, however, that he "saw how strong the wind was", meaning that he moved his attention from the Lord to other things that were happening around him. And this is what caused Peter to begin sinking.
There are so many things in today;s world that try to distract us, to turn our attention away from God. Sadly, some people not only give in to this but also join in. In fact, most advertising today seems to try and make the most important things in life what YOU want, what YOU need, how YOU can have a better life, what YOU deserve. This continuous attention to the needs and wants of the individual run completely contrary to what God teaches us. And that is why it more important than ever to try and keep our eyes and attention focused on God.
But how can we do this? How do we make sure that it is God that we look to for guidance? One sure way is by having frequent conversations with God. This is what we call prayer. And we not only have to talk to God, but more importantly, listen. This requires time and space away from other distractions. Just by seeking to remove ourselves to a quiet, "alone" place, we can set ourselves up for success. The very act of entering into a conversation with God will help us discover what God's will is in our lives. If Peter had not been willing to look at the Lord and enter into a conversation with Him, he would have remained cowering and afraid in the boat. And even though he faltered and began to sink, the Lord stayed with him and helped him get back into the boat.
This is a great model for us, especially when we feel that life is tossing us around. Look to the Lord. Focus on Him and His word. And don't let the storms of life distract you from concentrating on God's will. This is how we will all be able to walk on the troubled waters of life. So, whenever you find yourself feeling a little overwhelmed by life, stop and think about Peter. What are you looking at?