Oddly, I woke up with a forty-year-old song playing in my head this morning. It was Life in the Fast Lane as recorded by the Eagles.
The song sings of a young couple pushing life to the limit, living on the raw edge of things. But in a comical twist the song ends with: They went rushin’ down the freeway, messed around and got lost. They didn’t care, they were just dyin’ to get off.
And…I wonder nowadays, just how many folks are swept up in the fast lane and are just dyin’ to get off, paddling as hard as they can to do so!
So, what if…what if instead of living in the fast lane we made a decision to live in the faith lane?
Good ol’ Peter made a decision early on to jump onto the faith lane. The Bible states:
“As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed him (Mark 1:16-18 NIV).’”
This block of Scripture has always tickled me. Those two brothers did not mess around when Jesus called.
At once they left! Any invitation to get off the farm so to speak, must have resonated with these two brothers.
At once they hopped into the faith lane and it was off to the races. These sons of Zebedee immediately went with Jesus right to the synagogue where they encountered a man with an evil spirit….right out of the gate!
It must have dawned on Simon Peter and Andrew that they were not in Kansas anymore! With regard to the evil spirit, Jesus demonstrated life in the faith lane, right before their eyes.
“Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly, “Come out of him. The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek (Mark 1:25-26 NIV)!”
Life in the faith lane was surely more adventurous than fishing! And, in the scheme of things, isn’t this exactly what Jesus has in mind for those in the faith lane?
On another occasion, right after the loaves and fishes incident, the boys were out at sea. Around six o’clock in the morning they looked up and Jesus is walking towards them on the water.
“When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear (Matthew 14:26 NIV).”
Life in the fast lane can get a wee bit too fast at times. Jesus had to hush them a bit and calm them down after that episode.
But Peter felt the need to stick his toe in the water…literally. “Lord, if it is you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water (vs. 28).”
Peter was a fierce, rough and tough fisherman by trade. But even he cannot believe his eyes when he and his buddies look up and see someone walking on the choppy water towards them.
There is no other explanation! It must be a ghost!
Life in the faith lane will require frequent eye exams. At times what Christ will allow us to witness defies what our eyes can hold.
Not satisfied with a calm voice across the choppy water, Peter wants to feel this experience firsthand and walk on the water too. Things do go pretty well for Peter…right up until that point where he began to focus on the wind rather than Christ.
Distractions in life clamor for our attention and if we are not prepared we can be knocked out of the faith lane. And, like Peter we can feel ourselves sinking.
Jesus’ words to Peter often apply to us as well, “You of little faith, why did you doubt (vs. 31b).”
Have you ever noticed what we can do if we do not sit and think about it? How many times have we over-thought an issue and then began to sink?
It is possible to get stuck in our own heads. We can become tangled in our own thoughts, begin to speculate and borrow trouble by imagining all the terrible things that could happen.
Life in the faith lane calls us out on the water but halfway there for some strange reason we think we can take control and make it on our own power. We need to remember that the moment we take our eyes of Christ is the moment we begin to sink.
Today is a good day to respond to being called out onto the waters, into the great unknown, to take that first step into the faith lane. “…all things are possible with God (Mark 10:27b NIV).”
(Hillsong United- “Oceans” Live at Relevant)