“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
That's how our consent to the journey begins; we wish to recognize God as truly God, we invite him into our lives, offering our wills, offering ourselves and asking to be commanded.
He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
And so our journey to the Lord begins. There is the joy and energy of a first fervor and we set out, walking on the unsure foundation of all our mixed motivations, past traumas, and disordered attachments.
But when he saw how [strong] the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink.
Soon we realize that it is beyond us to approach and much less arrive at the presence of God. We sink in our sins, confusions, wrong ideas about religion and God, and much else besides.
he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?
What happens next, if we persevere at this point, becomes the real beginning of a spiritual life. We let our experience of our misery, our inability to even approach God, become compunction. Pierced to the heart, sinking and afraid, looking at our own death by drowning squarely in the face, we cry out in desperation. "Lord, save me!"
We have realized that even to take a single step in our journey to the Lord, we need him to stretch out his hand and catch us. That outstretched hand is the Holy Spirit. And just as that Spirit stretched forth from the Godhead to conceive the Word of God as the human life of Jesus Christ, so now the same Spirit (if we allow it!) conceives us as Christ-ians.
With that new experience of faith comes the final realization, that the issues and difficulties in our spiritual journey arise from failing to see clearly that it isn't our journey at all, but the journey of the Son of God in and through our humanity, folding us, gently and mercifully, into the infinitely blessed, happy, and creative reality we call the Holy Trinity.
So let us invite the Lord, again for the first time, to command that we come to him on the water.