I love the story in the N.T. when Jesus approached his disciples by walking on the water to them at night. They freaked out and thought they were seeing a ghost. But when they heard it was Jesus, Peter asked, Lord, if it is you, tell me to come out on the water with you. (Matthew 14:22-31)
Jesus said to him, “Come”.
Walking on water was like stepping into uncharted waters for Peter. He had never done anything like that before. But Jesus said to step so he did.
In leadership, we are going to face times when we will feel God leading us to step out in uncharted waters. It is scary and we have all these thoughts going through our minds about failure. What if it doesn’t work and people stop believing in me? What if I fail because I make the wrong decision? What if it really isn’t God prompting me to do this? What if it really is just a ghost and not Jesus saying, “Come”?
These are all real fears. But a true leader is someone who keeps his or her eyes on Jesus rather than the questions, fears, waves or the wind. So Peter stepped out on the water and began walking on it. How incredible would that be? But then he took his focus off his mission (walking toward Jesus) and the wind and the waves, the fear and the doubts, caused him to sink.
What can we take from this? If Jesus leads you to step into uncharted waters, go for it. That might mean trying something no one else is convinced will work. It might mean taking a risk! If you fail and start to fall, don’t worry Jesus will be there to keep you from drowning. And you learn from it and you do it again. That is the definition of leadership!
I pray that God would lead us all to uncharted waters rather than playing it safe in the boat.