There are so many things one can learn in life especially from the several stories of other people; people we look up to, people we know or more so people we regard as our mentors and leaders. The overall idea especially taught by most of the motivational speakers and success coaches around is to listen intently at what our mentors give to us as instructions, walking on the same path of success like they have experienced. So what we do is buy their books, listen to their audio messages or watch them speak through DVD’s, video or the popular ‘YouTube videos’ simply because we want to follow the different steps they walked on their way to success without missing a step.
In as much as I want to agree with these speakers, one would subtly want to consider what happens if everyone follows their mentor to the letter and become that success, everyone will be successful in today’s world. We have forgotten that we are to live our lives based on what God has apportioned that we would be. If I decide to follow my mentor and become a success, my son would like to follow me and before I know it, I would have introduced my son indirectly to my mentor (in the event that he gets stuck) and definitely there would be so many unanswered questions, unless my mentor shows up to rescue my son.
I have said this to make us understand that we all have our lives to live; we all have our challenges to go through, we all have our lessons to learn, our failures and successes coupled with when we fall and when we stand. There are various lessons to be learned. The problems that we go through, does so many things to our character and person because there is a requirement for the strengths we thought we never had to be realized and discovered. These strengths will become the lessons we learn individually so as to teach whoever cares to know the “how not to make certain mistakes in life”, especially when the people looking seem to be on that same pathway we found ourselves then.
Therefore to become a leader or a mentor, one would have to come to terms with the many pitfalls, the many achievements and the many failures life will throw at us. We definitely are going to go through so many things as we embark upon this journey even when we become associated with God through His Son, Jesus. Yes, I just said that. Paul declared to us that we are children and if children, then sons and if sons then are we heirs and if heirs we become joint heirs when we suffer with Him.
We have been inundated with that wrong notion that when we come to God, all shall be well with us; and we therefore regard anything called ‘uncomfortable’ (no matter what) as something that is not from God. What we then do at that time of discomfort is to raise a prayer, asking God to take away or remove that part of our lives experiencing the discomfort. If God decides to say a ‘yes’ to that prayer, for example, the purpose of that part of our lives where we are supposed to draw strength will be defeated and character isn’t formed and then that training for leadership or mentorship is completely annihilated.
At this juncture, the story of Peter when he walked on water readily comes to mind. John the Baptist had just died and they had also just fed five thousand men (aside children and women) and in the midst of the supernatural happenings, Jesus has one or two lessons to teach Peter and the remaining disciples. He commanded all of His disciples not to gloat on what had just happened but to move on to the next episode in the plan of God for their lives, which is, to know what to do to walk in the realm of the supernatural or realm of the celestial. They were commanded to go to the other side on their boat while Jesus went up the mount to pray. From the story we are able to glean that something would definitely happen.
Jesus was on His way down from the mount only to discover that the boat had been tossed by the blustering wind to the middle of the sea and joining His disciples to the natural mind would have been an uphill task. The disciples on the other hand couldn’t help it and they are faced with a challenge of how Jesus would join them at the other side as they struggle to stabilize the boat.
All along, when they experienced the supernatural, Jesus was constantly with them and the difference is that now, they face a challenge without the presence of Jesus physically. What can they possible do?
Jesus who could not be stopped even by the laws of nature began to walk on the water in the midst of the raging wind towards His disciples who were in another state trying to keep the boat afloat. They had a glimpse in the midst of their challenge and saw something that had a poise of a human being. It is a ‘spirit’ or a ‘ghost’ they exclaimed: an apparition, an unreal appearance of a real person. The Greek word rendered ‘phantasma’ was not rendered which was usually rendered ‘spirit’. What was seen would seem to appear first like a dark, moving spec upon the waters, then as a human figure but in the dark, tempestuous sky and without the thought of “it could be Jesus”, they take it to be a spirit (pneuma). It was in the middle of the night.
Obviously, a spirit, as they termed it was what they imagined to themselves vainly in their minds; persuading themselves that they are seeing something when truly they couldn’t see anything. Would you blame them? This is what happens to man when he is confronted with one challenge that he doesn’t seem to have a solution for. When we think there isn’t a solution to our problems, we begin to fashion fresh nets of doubt leading to more and more entanglements. We invent snares for ourselves and become greedy to lay more and more of them; some of us exaggerate our challenges for reasons best known to us.
Immediately, Jesus calmed His disciples so that they wouldn’t because of what they had thought in their minds (the supposed ghost they saw) jump into the sea for refuge and safety. They heard His voice and knew it was Jesus. There was a sudden calm and immediately they all came back to their senses but Peter, who was the Lord’s candidate for the new lesson, unknown to him decided to ask Jesus: “Lord if that is you, command me to walk on the same water to meet with you”. To his amazement, Jesus agreed for him to come and Peter stepped out of the boat and walked in the realm of the miraculous to Jesus, as long as his eyes and focus were on the words spoken by Jesus.
Peter soon realized himself in another realm and the five senses kicked in choking the command that was given to him. He started to look somewhere else because the wind had started to blow. The witness of the five senses only comes at times like this to confuse our belief. He started to sink, which was a miracle on its own because the law of thrust says that anything that has weight must sink when placed on water. Peter started to sink because it was not time for his death as the Lord was about the next lesson and the next phase of his life. Of course Peter would wonder if he had done any wrong but God had a better plan.
While he was sinking (slow motion as some might like to call it), Jesus was still standing on the same water as the same wind was blowing against both of them. Finally Peter screamed for help and just before he sank in the water, Jesus walked towards him and pulled him out of the water, and Peter was able to experience that realm again as they both walked back to the ship. At this time, they got to the other side and then the boisterous wind stopped. Waiting for the wind to stop before you embark upon a journey implies that you might never embark upon that journey. The wind never stops blowing, the idea is to keep walking; the wind finally stops when you get to that desired destination.
Here is the lesson from Jesus to Peter: You walked in the realm of the miraculous because you believed what I told you. You started to sink because you considered and looked at the wind, thinking the wind was more powerful than the words I spoke. Now you have learned that my words are more powerful than the things you see or would see.
The other disciples had knowledge of what was going on but Peter had the experience of working the Word.