Did you know that Jesus talks about boats 50 times in the four Gospels? It’s interesting because the people of Israel were desert people. The sea was a dangerous, mysterious place where bad things could happen. Stories about the sea became metaphors for life with a deeper spiritual meaning. Jesus calls His Disciples to go to follow Him to the other side, to go out into the deep where it can get scary, that’s where you will find life. Here are three things we can remember about what it means to follow Christ.
#1 A Time for Adventure
Becoming a Disciple of Christ means you’re making a commitment to adventure; that you’re willing to do things you never thought you would do, to see things you never dreamed you would see and experience things outside your comfort zone. Christ did not call His Disciples to safety or security. Over and over in the Bible we hear, He calls us out into the deep water, out into the open sea where scary things can happen but it’s in the adventure that you’ll find the meaning of your life.
#2 A Time to Coast
Sometimes in life, you’re going to be on a down-wind run and life is good! These are the moments that every sailor loves, when the wind is from behind and the boat sits nice and level instead of crashing into the waves. The story of Jesus calming the storm is told in Matthew, Mark and Luke. The boat was floating along, peacefully, in a down-wind run when Jesus decided to take a nap. Suddenly, a storm kicked up and the Disciples became very afraid. Jesus was awakened by the Disciples and goes on to calm the storm.
I believe this story shows up 3 times in the Bible because the Disciples wanted to emphasize the point that Jesus calms the storm. It’s as if they were saying, “In case you missed it the first time, you don’t have to be afraid of the storms. Storms will come, but Christ is with you. Don’t avoid adventure because you’re afraid of the storm.” What a powerful message for us, today.
#3 A Time to Choose
It’s our responsibility to choose to follow Christ and be willing to experience life. It really is easy to complain about life and blame others for things in your life that you’re not happy with. We blame our parents, our children, our boss and the list goes on. We forget to take responsibility for our own adventure in life, but Jesus calls us into adventure, He wants us to go out into the deep. In order to do this, you have to make a choice to cast off the dock line to discover what life is all about!