What’s in a name?
So why Steadily Skipping Stones?
It has to do with a lost poem, and an unwritten book, and a guy named Peter.
A lost poem
I wrote a poem about skipping stones so long ago that I can’t even find it now. But I’ve always remembered the last lines that said we can skip stones all we like, but they will only go so far “before they sink, as they must.” No matter how hard you practice, no matter the perfection of the stone, they will sink. They must.
An unwritten book
There is a book in my mind…and on scraps of paper and in hour upon hour of micro-taped notes. In a pivotal scene, a conversation takes place while a character is skipping stones across the lake. He shares that his grandmother called it “walking on water”. For the last 8 years or so, when I think of skipping stones, that translates in my mind to walking on water.
A guy named Peter
As a young person, when I read or heard bible stories, I always identified with Peter. In my child’s heart, I fervently wanted to be John, almost to the point of desperation. But I knew I was Peter. John was The Beloved; he seemed to have it all together. You know Peter, right? That guy who denied Jesus? The one who fell in the lake? Oh, how I lamented this fact; and I did feel it as fact. It was as much a part of my personal identity as the color of my hair, or my name.
Now that I’m an adult, I don’t feel the same way about being Peter. Sure, John was great and all, but I would so much rather be myself. And I have learned that John was not the only one called Beloved. Besides, I so relate to that walking on water thing. As soon as Peter gets out there, looks around, and sees what the heck is actually happening, his faith fails him and he falls in. Of course, Jesus was right there with him, basically saying, “Chill, dude; just take my hand.”
Steadily Skipping Stones
Mostly, I haven’t been brave enough to attempt to walk on water. The closest I would get, in every aspect of my life, was skipping figurative stones. I have been steadily skipping stones all my life, expecting whatever I threw out there to sink. I am adept at the art of Practice. I would practice the spin and practice the angle and practice the speed…with my feet set firmly on the earth. I would not walk out myself, because I knew that I’d get wet.
Walking On Water
Suddenly at last… I feel ready to try. And you know what? I’m gonna sink. My walking on water is going to look an awful lot like wading. But there are arms stretched out for me and hands for me to grasp; I don’t have to get it right. I will sink, as I must. But I’m finally okay with that.
The important thing is that I try. Every attempt will get me closer to the boat I was meant to be on.