When my husband Nathan and I were planning our honeymoon, we settled on a two-week backpacking trip in Glacier National Park. Being an avid researcher, I investigated the necessary gear and supplies, creating extensive checklists and outlining our itinerary. One afternoon, my soon-to-be husband commented, "You sure are working hard. In my family, we just throw it in and go."
A few weeks later, we traveled to North Dakota for a weekend of canoe camping with Nathan's parents. I was eager to learn from his mother who had obviously mastered the art of backwoods adventure. When it came time to pack, she led me to the garage where she had stacks of gear bins with meticulous checklists attached to the inside of each lid. Her advanced preparation had ensured the success of many family adventures.
That story reminds me of another group of adventurers. In Matthew 14:22-33, we find the disciples in a boat. Over the past few years Jesus had been preparing them for ministry. They had walked where he walked. They had heard his teachings. They had seen his miracles. In fact, just a few hours earlier, Jesus had multiplied five loaves and two fish allowing them to feed more than five thousand people, but now the wind is blowing, the waves are beating against their boat, and Jesus is nowhere to be found. Suddenly, they see someone walking on the water. The others think it's a ghost, but Peter, calls out, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." And Jesus replies, "Come." So, Peter steps out of the boat and walks on the water toward Jesus. Now granted, seconds later, Peter falls prey to fear and begins to sink, but when he cries out, Jesus rescues him. It's easy to sit on the shore and criticize Peter's lack of faith, but Peter teaches us two very important lessons:
Friends, for the past twelve weeks, you have prepared for the adventure which is about to begin. You have acquired skills, researched ideas, written speeches, and practiced delivery. You're ready, and adventure awaits in our competition season. So throw it in...and let's go!
In His Grace,
Amy Joy Tofte
NCFCA Director of Education
A note to parents and coaches: As our students transition from the Fall Season of learning and growing to the Spring Season of bearing fruit through competition, we have the privilege of speaking words of life that will encourage them to step out of the boat and onto the water. We can boost our students' confidence by signing up for the NCFCA Online Platform Practice Opportunities found on the Affiliate Dashboard. We can provide additional opportunities to present speeches and debate others in our homes or clubs. Most importantly we can pray as the apostle Paul prayed in Philippians 1:6 "...that he who began a good work...will bring it to completion..."
We hope that you enjoyed our Fall season Stepping Stones. The Apologetics Highlights will continue through the Spring, and we look forward to seeing you at tournaments soon!