But he denied it. “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,” he said, and went out into the entryway. Mark 14:68 (NIV)
Peter finds himself in one of those all too common moments. This is something we all may experience a hundred times a day. We have devoted our lives to the Lord. We seek Him to guide us through the day. Yet we find ourselves in situations where our attention must slip from our spiritual thoughts and deal with what confronts us now. We may even sense a feeling of remorse for having to steal our focus from more uplifting thoughts and place them on the situation at hand. But here we are! Could we avoid it? We live in this busy world. There are a million things that bombard us each day. What can we do about it?
Have we read stories of some religious superhero? Did it seem that for them these moments were few and far between? Did the saints of old have fewer distractions to pull their attention away from their Heavenly pursuits? Or were they just better than us in dealing with them? Were they stronger than us? Were they saintlier than us? Was there something that they possessed that we have failed to attain?
Would it be safe to say that no person anywhere has or will ever be completely immune to having these times? Peter was one of Jesus´ most devoted followers. It was for that very fact that he had snuck into the courtyard and was trying to stay near Jesus through His trial. Yet Peter did have his moment where he was confronted with the world. And should we think we will have ours?
Peter lived out his moment and when it dawned on him that he had let the world lead his attention too far from the Lord, he cried. It hurt him to know that there were things that could still draw him away from his Master. It was painful to see that he could result to worldly reactions when faced with worldly problems. But where does this all go? Is there something valuable to learn? If we cannot avoid these moments, what can or should be done if we are serious about our faith? In Peter´s case, it brought a healthy attitude of repentance. He allowed the weight of his treason throw him further on the Lord. Did he bolster himself and try to be a stronger person in his own will or strength? Or did he recognize his limitations and go to seek God?
We now have the world in front of us. Many are the distractions. Many are the trials we must still face. Where will we go to find our way through the maze? Where will our strength come from? Will we seek strength for ourselves? Will we place our efforts in being a superhero of will and determination? Or will we draw near to the source of our strength? Will we try to cover ourselves not with something we possess, but with something Jesus possesses? Will we try to find OUR way? Or will we pull in close to our Guide and let Him be our Way?
We could resort to ourselves. We could work on refining, strengthening our own will and determination. We could look towards finding a superior reaction to the situations the world throws at us. Or could we by looking at ourselves, actually still be looking at a part of the world? Would the only Way NOT to fall to worldly reactions, be in returning our gaze once again to the Lord?
Dear Jesus, far too often we stumble. The world distracts us and we fall for it so many times. Please help us realize when this happens. Give us the correct attitude of repentance. Help us to see when we do slip up and return our attention to You. Instead of making us experts at dealing with our world, make us experts on bringing ourselves back to You. Strengthen us in You we pray and not in ourselves. Then our strength will not be ours, and we will be free to focus on You further still.