Episode 224: Hope for the Journey – Facing the Unknown

April 5, 2022

Are you like Simon Peter?

Specifically, are you like Simon Peter when you are facing the unknown? While Jesus called Peter a rock, when the pivotal moments in Jesus’ ministry were unfolding, Simon Peter was less than courageous. 

Peter denied Jesus.

Peter denied knowing Jesus.

Peter denied having been with Jesus.

When you find yourself with your feet to the fire, do you stand in your integrity regardless of the outcome? Or, do you fall victim to the peer pressure that is around you?

If you’re honest, the answer is likely, “It depends.” We all want to stand firm in our faith. We all want to stand with Jesus. But sometimes our humanity gets in the way and we fall short of embodying faithfulness…especially when facing the unknown.

While you could ridicule Peter for his obvious missteps, at the end of the day, Peter reminds us of our humanity. Peter calls us to be faithful followers of Jesus even when it is difficult.

Join Tim and Sara as they explore facing the unknown with Peter. Walk away with reminders about our human nature as well as encouragement to stand firm in the faith.

Mentioned in this Episode

Episode 224


[00:00:00] Sara: You're listening to leader cast episode 224. you're listening to leader cast, transforming missions podcast with Tim Bias and Sara Thomas. Providing you with resources to navigate the challenges and opportunities of courageous Christ-centered centered leaders

[00:00:21] Tim: so I have a question for you. Are you like Simon, Peter? if you're thinking in what way I want you to hold that question because this week we're continuing our series. Hope for the journey As we face the unknown.

[00:00:40] Sara: As a reminder, you can find show notes for this episode@transformingmission.org forward slash two to four. We'll include notes from this episode, including this. That we mentioned. So Tim, you started to tease us by asking us if we were like Simon, Peter. So my question for you is just what you said in what way?

[00:01:03] Tim: Well, there's a lot about Peter that we could explore the one who Jesus called a rock And you know, the reason he was called a rock because that's how he swam. The one who Jesus called a rock is now following at a distance. You know, the scene they've arrested Jesus.

[00:01:20] They've taken Jesus to the high priest and.

[00:01:24] Sara: And at this point, you can almost hear the music building, holding the suspense of the scene. That's about to open.

[00:01:29] Tim: And what's Peter doing?. He's following at a distance, Peter, who Jesus had given the name, CFUs, Peter, the rock,

[00:01:42] Sara: Is now shaking in his boots.

[00:01:44] Tim: and a girl identifies him and says you were with. Jesus. And he says, Nope, not me. And someone else says, Hey, aren't you? That guy weren't you with that guy named Jesus. And again, Peter responds no who me. And then he tries to tell them that he doesn't know what they're talking about. And then they identify him as a Galilean. If all of us were as fortunate as Peter to have a rooster standing by calling us on our lack of courage and vulnerability, we'd be pretty fortunate. If only we had someone there with us to step into the unknown.

[00:02:31] Sara: I'm not going to say to him. We do, but we do. Well, Peter didn't have the benefit in this scene of the holy spirit. He did have the benefit of a relationship with Jesus and still, oh, how many times do we say, oh, Peter, he missed the opportunity to step out.

[00:02:55] Tim: but we're not here today to ridicule Simon, Peter, but we are here to recognize that when you're facing the unknown and overwhelmed by what's before. Sometimes you may not make the best decisions.

[00:03:11] Sara: Sometimes Tim.

[00:03:13] Tim: Okay. Most of the time, we don't make the best decisions when we're facing the unknown.

[00:03:19] Sara: Yeah. Part of what. I appreciate about Peter is he's a reflection of who we are and our humanity. And, and one of the ways that he does that is he's an example of a person who dances at the extreme Jesus. Don't wash my feet, go read John 13 and two minutes later. Jesus. If you're going to wash my feet, wash my hands and my head then too, it's easy to stand apart from Peter and say, oh, Peter, how'd you mean?

[00:03:49] How over and over and over again, did you make the decision to turn your back on Jesus? But when I stop and think about the vulnerable place Peter and the other disciples were living, I can't help, but think he wasn't confused about Jesus. He was confused about what he was experiencing around.

[00:04:10] Tim: And as leaders we make decisions and guide other people. So we do our best to show people, Jesus, and what we say in what we do and our words and interactions as leaders. Sometimes our humanity takes over and we mess up. So how then do we step into the unknown with hope? Well, we've talked about it before, but we learn to rumble with vulnerability.

[00:04:43] Sara: So today we want to give you a few ways to begin to do this with one another, even this lint, and think again about dear Simon, Peter, and. What he could have done and think about your leadership context and those moments that you're not sure what's going on. You think something's happening in one direction and then all of a sudden it's heading in a different direction.

[00:05:13] Tim what's, what's the first thing that we might do when we're stepping into the end.

[00:05:18] Tim: Well, Sara, this is something I've learned from you, but that's one of the things is just get curious, ask questions, questions, like, tell me more or help me understand. I'm curious about I'm just seeking some clarity here. What's your passion around this? Get curious about the situation or the people with whom you're in.

[00:05:43] Sara: Yeah. And sometimes in the moment, another thing that we can do is hit the pause button. And then in that pause, ask yourself, what do you need? What do you need to be able to navigate the moment? And I call this permission slips. You can take that title or, or leave it, but really give yourself a chance to name what you need in the moment.

[00:06:11] And if you need a 15 minute walk, if you need to talk to your best friend, to be quiet with God, name it, but don't just name it, then do it.

[00:06:21] Tim: Yeah, Sara, one of the things I've, again, I've learned from you is that sometimes it's just getting a breath of fresh air that may make the difference. Just leaving a room and getting a new. A new bit of air before you come back.

[00:06:39] Sara: Yeah. And so let's, let's pause here for a minute and think again about. Peter and the disciples and facing the unknown. I'm sure that they were asking lots of questions, but they were asking questions in a way that couldn't be answered. So what would have happened if, when let's back up to the scripture that I mentioned from John 13, what would have happened?

[00:07:10] And maybe it. No, we don't. We have the gospel accounts. We don't have the full transcript of the conversation that unfolded between Jesus and Peter, as he was washing, washing his feet. Jesus helped me understand. I mean, can you imagine that moment, help me understand how different that might've been when the moment of Jesus being arrested and crucified is coming.

[00:07:36] Maybe they, maybe they still would have been, but maybe they wouldn't have been scratching their heads going. This is not at all. What we thought was happening. This is not at all, what we thought would, would unfold. Okay. Curious. And I think that second one, Tim around permission slips is really when you're in the midst of uncertainty, recognizing the.

[00:08:02] You still have agency. There's that word again? We're going to talk about the hope cycle. If we mentioned, if we mentioned agency, you still have the agency to say, hang on, I need five minutes just to let this sink in and really get this wrapped around my head. And there, I think our human tendency is to continue to push and to push through instead of.

[00:08:27] Tim: So when I said something about a breath of fresh air what I'm really thinking about is being more responsive than reactive,

[00:08:36] Sara: yes. That's a wonderful way to say.

[00:08:39] Tim: take a, just, just take a moment. And instead of being reacting to. You don't know, and then respond in a way that you can know. So.

[00:08:52] Sara: Yeah. And the third thing is to understand the self-conscious aspects and don't confuse the shame, blame, or even envy and regrow. Whatever was going on with Peter is Jesus was arrested and crucified at the end of the day. He was weeping. So let's just consider for a minute. Tim, what was Peter?

[00:09:19] Tim: Well, I don't think he was weeping over grief of what was happening to Jesus. Now, maybe it was, I can't say that with certainty, but I do think he was weeping over the grief of his denial of Jesus. I'm thinking it was regretting not claiming to follow Jesus that, and maybe I put it back in the context of, of a reaction of denying Jesus and sort of taking a step back and responding in a way that he could know Jesus. We had some people say it, it was because he was ashamed of maybe it was. I just, I just think that this is a place where it may not be the grief over what's happening to Jesus as much as it was. Man, I really blew that one. Not thinking things.

[00:10:11] Sara: Yeah. And so you see how many different nuances are happening in that moment and how often. If we're not careful and hitting that pause button, getting that, you know, getting some fresh air literally or figuratively to be able to take a step back so that you can respond to be able to understand what's really happening in that moment.

[00:10:35] Was it regret? Was it shame? Was it confusion? Was it simply he was overwhelmed? Could it have been, he was just bone tired. I mean, I can think of a million different things that that could have been happening in that moment. And as leaders, when we make a leap to what is happening, often we confuse each one of we can confuse the self-conscious aspects in particular.

[00:11:06] What I would encourage you. Just pause and think about, and hear me clearly when I say this, I'm not saying make it about you, but often our response says more about who we are, then the people that we're encountering. And so in that moment, I would love to have been able to have a conversation with Peter to say, what's going on in your soul?

[00:11:35] What are you experiencing right now? Yeah, Tim and I could sit here and make up what was happening in the midst of Peter. But the reality is, is we don't have enough information to really know what was going on. We have some pretty good educated guesses of what, what was going on, but translate that to your leadership.

[00:12:03] And we've all had a moment that we've failed to step up and step out in faith to face the unknown with the promise of God's hope. So in those moments, claim that hope and recognize what is, what is happening in that moment.

[00:12:22] Tim: So Sara, what I'm thinking as you're talking there, It's easy for us to sit her to 2000 years later and see how a moment of vulnerability could have been turned into a moment of courageous faith for Simon Fisher. I get that. I know that's not what we're saying. What we're really saying. It's harder when you're in the moment to to be courageous. It's harder in the moment to take the step you need to take, make the decision you need to make it not the case.

[00:12:56] Sara: Absolutely. And I'll say two things. One is the more you step out in faith. Step out in courage. The easier, it becomes to recognize those moments and what you need to do. But going back to the scripture that we've been talking about on this episode, think about the good news of what happened with Peter.

[00:13:19] The hope in the midst of the unknown is this Jesus didn't give up on Peter. Peter went on to live a life of faith. Isn't Peter, the one who has said to be crucified upside down because he wasn't worthy to die in the same manner is.

[00:13:35] Tim: I believe that's the story.

[00:13:37] Sara: And, and, and whether or not that tradition is true. Peter kept going through the unknown. He may have made missteps and he may have given us a reason to think, oh, Peter, but he kept walking in faith. So before I asked him to offer his last word, here's what I want to say to you in the amidst of the unknown.

[00:14:03] Keep stepping out in faith. Keep going, stop if you need to. And when you need to rest, when you need to look around, then step out in faith again, because Jesus is always with you.

[00:14:18] Tim: At that's, that's a good word, Sara. That's a, I don't know that I can add anything. To that, because I think when we get to a place, I, let me, let me say it this way. I oftentimes have a default mode and if I get into the unknown, I go back to that default mode and it's not always one of trust and it's not always one of face. Now I just made a confession.

[00:14:48] Sara: See the

[00:14:48] Tim: what happened?

[00:14:49] Sara: that.

[00:14:51] Tim: So what happens is that if I now say that I can work on becoming more the person I need to be in facing the unknown because it, it, it is by taking the next step. And there's an old story. I remember that won't make a whole lot of sense here in Sara.

[00:15:08] You can cut it out when you say why in the world that he'd tell that story. I remember uh, it was it was really in a days before electricity and there was a boy in the family. His job was to feed the horses in the barn. No electric and no lights, you know, outside. The only way that he could get to the barn was, was a lantern. And he often said to his dad dad, I, I can't see the barn for me. And his dad says, take the lantern and take the next step. Take the Lander and, and what do you see? And he, so I can see in front of me. So take a step, right. And then it's a, now what do you see? Sorry. See, in front of me while I take another step and before he knew it, he was at the barn and he could feed the horses.

[00:15:56] And sometimes I think that's what faith is about in amidst midst of the unknown. We may not know what's down the road, but taking the next step gets us closer to where we need to be. And that's what I've heard us talk about today. Even, even though Simon, Peter was a, was sometimes in, in my thinking reactive, and then after it was over, he would say, oh, I wish I'd said this.

[00:16:23] Or I wish I'd done that. I, I may identify with him more at that.

[00:16:27] point than I do at others. But he didn't stop. He kept going.

[00:16:33] Sara: Yeah.

[00:16:34] Tim: And in the end he was right where he needed to be.

[00:16:39] Sara: Now, why would I cut that story? When it's a beautiful illustration of all that, all that we've talked about,

[00:16:48] Tim: Well, it didn't have any power electric power.

[00:16:55] Sara: where's the rim shot.

[00:17:00] Oh, let me remind you that you can find show notes for this episode@transformingmission.org forward slash 2, 2, 4. And remember. Who you are, is how you lead bye for now.