Mt 14:22-33 Doubting Oneself, Not God
Snow is great when you are a child. The same is true for the heat! This summer has been very hot! But a lot of kids have been beating the heat by going to summer camps. As a child, there are a ton of things to do. As adults, we just stand there and watch them have fun. That’s not too much fun.
I have had the wonderful opportunity to participate in various summer camps this year. My fun at these camps has consisted in celebrating Mass in the sweltering heat and/or hearing confessions in the great outdoors. After I finish all my “fun”, I typically walk around and watch the kids enjoy all their fun. At one camp, there was a group of kids that were jumping on what is known as a blob. A blob is a soft, amorphous mass that sits on the surface of a lake. While one child lies down on one end of it, another child jumps, from a high distance, and falls on top of it. The result is amazing! The child lying down is thrown up into the air and falls into the lake. The process is repeated as often as time permits.
Well, there was a child that was hesitant to jump. I could not blame him. After all, the height is around 20 feet or more. As you can imagine, there was a queue that was developing because of this one kid. All the kids were shouting, encouraging him to jump. I focused my attention on one in particular. I stood next to him. This is what we alternately said to the hesitant jumper:
Kid: “Do it!”
Me: “Just think about it!”
(At this moment, the kid I was standing next to looked a little perturbed)
Kid: “Nothing bad will happen!”
Me: “There is only a slight chance you can be seriously injured or killed!”
Kid: “Close your eyes!”
Me: “Say your prayers!”
(Again, the child looked at me…now visibly upset)
Kid: “Don’t be a baby!”
Me: “In other words, don’t use your brain!”
Kid: “Everybody is watching you!”
Me: “Like we really care!”
Now, that got him! The kid standing next to me turned around and said to me, “You’re no help!” I asked him, “To whom?”
This wasn’t the first time something like this has happened. I enjoy doing it. Why? Because we don’t doubt ourselves enough! Yes, you read me correct! We have way too much confidence in our words and actions! In fact, we are overly confident not only when we say “I’m very pretty” or “I’m very smart”, but also when we degrade ourselves and say, “I’m not pretty” or “I’m not smart at all”. It takes an equally confident person to say both! And both are an occasion of sin!
“O you of little faith, why did you doubt [in me!]” The reason why Peter was sinking was not because he doubted in himself, but rather he doubted in Christ. “Without me, you can do nothing!” Do I appreciate these words? Do they rub me the wrong way? Do I strive to prove to God that I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, however I want?
Too often do I hear this nonsense: “I doubt this marriage can work?” No, the problem is that you are way too confident that this marriage cannot endure! For this reason alone, there are so many law firms out there called “123 Divorce” or “ABC Divorce”. We are too confident in our strengths and weaknesses. It is time that we no longer doubt, not in ourselves, but in God!
When we doubt in God, we replace Him with someone or something else that is inferior; we either replace Him with ourselves, or with another. When we doubt in Christ, we allow others to fill void, and we end up getting hurt; we end up sinking.
Too often do young people tell me that they have no problem with pornography or with drugs, even though they resort to it frequently? They say they will never do it again or take the next step and go deeper into it. I ask them if they are confident in this. They assure me they are. Then I ask them if they ever said or made a promise to themselves that they would never take drugs, etc…? They understand what I am saying. I would prefer that they were not so sure of themselves rather than to hear how confident they are!
To trust in God means to give God a greater role in my life. Actually, it means replacing sin with Him and giving him the number one role in my life. Only that way, will I stand above the water, not below it!