Can you walk on water?
When Jesus told Peter to, “Get out of the boat”, he didn’t hesitate. He didn’t stop to over-think the situation or over-analyse, he just did it. So why are we so hesitant to step out of our own comfort zone? Why do we not put ourselves forward more often? Why do we convince ourselves that we simply aren’t good enough?
In my career in charity, I climbed to the position of Chief Executive Officer and I quietly, inwardly questioned, “How did that happen?” As a teenager (nearly 50 years ago), I was not a very likeable person, though I met a beautiful girl and I married her 40 years ago. Again, I question, “How did that happen?” I kind of fell into being a youth worker and a Christian Rap Artist, impacting thousands of young lives, but still, that question lurked in the back of my mind, “How did that happen?”
I now know that this negative thinking about our own abilities is referred to as, ‘Imposter-Syndrome.’ This lack of self-belief is in us all at different levels. Soon after Peter stepped out, he had a reality check, imposter-syndrome hit him and he started to sink, but Jesus reached out and took his hand.
In recent years I have made conscious decisions to put myself out there more. It still feels alien, at times extremely nervous and uncomfortable, but still, we must metaphorically step out of the boat. Over 30 years ago, God gave me the gift of writing in rhyme and I used that gift. It was extremely uncomfortable when I first stepped onto a stage to perform, but I felt that He was holding my hand. Publishing my first book was again a nervous and uncomfortable, yet exhilarating experience. In my head came more questions, “Will people like it? Is it any good?” I am sure that any of my author friends can relate to these feelings. On the day of publishing, even the most seasoned authors can feel elevated levels of vulnerability and anxiety, as we expose ourselves to criticism.
At times, this vulnerability can even prevent us, writers, from writing. Fear can overwhelm and consume our creativity. The Bible tells us that, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind” – 2 Timothy 1:7. When we are drowning, He will reach out and take our hands. It’s taken me decades to really grasp this and I am still learning (aren’t we all?).
Lately, I have felt God telling me to once again, ‘Step out’ into the realm of public speaking and teaching. In reluctant obedience, I have now arranged to present my first ever poetry workshops and as soon as I had agreed, I questioned, “What have I done?” Imposter syndrome kicks in, I start to sink and God takes my hand. We are not alone in this God is in us; so what is your next adventure? What are you being called to step into? Are you ready to walk on (metaphoric) water?