A few posts ago I shared that my landlord kicked us out asked us to find a new place to live, which resulted in a three-family house swap. Last Friday was moving day, and it went pretty well. It looked like the perfect ending to the Living-In-Abundant-Flow story I described when I last wrote about the situation. Then on Sunday night, after going to visit some friends, we came home to a flooded kitchen floor, a rising lake in the basement, and water gushing from beneath the dishwasher. I’ve dealt with frozen to broken pipes before, just not two days after moving! Was it a sign that, in spite of the ease of finding our new home, this was not really the place for us?
It’s in moments like these that my doubts begin to rise like the water in my basement. It took me back to one of my favorite Jesus stories. In Matthew 14:22-33 the disciples found themselves in a boat on a lake in a storm. Jesus walked out on the water to meet them, frightening them even more than the strong winds and waves because they thought he was a ghost. When they realized it was Jesus, Peter was inspired and emboldened to join him on the water. He got out of the boat and started walking on the water towards Jesus. But the waves and wind intimidated him and, in his fear, he started to sink. Then...“Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt? When they got into the boat, the wind ceased.”
So often we forget that both our life and our spirituality is more process than product. We erroneously believe that mastery means an end to practice. Not so. Mastery means we have integrated the practice into our way being such that it is unconscious. And until we have achieved mastery, our faith will be interspersed with moments of doubt. It does not mean we have failed. It simply means we have the opportunity to practice again. We sometimes fuel our doubts by misusing our power of imagination aka worrying. We humans are meaning making machines. Maybe it’s because we crave certainty, and in the absence of certainty we invent meaning. What did my flood mean? Probably that my kitchen wall could do with better insulation or that the dishwasher was showing signs of its age. Nothing in my consciousness caused it, but everything in my consciousness determines how I deal with it.
Take a page from Peter’s book: when the winds and waves of life cause distraction and doubt, remember that it begins and ends with looking to, and living from, Christ Consciousness.