Last week I was a lector in the early Sunday morning mass and happily dragged my flat-mate and fellow-fellow Smiti to church with me! It takes a lot of courage and will to get up on a Sunday morning at 6 am especially when you’ve spent most of your Saturday out hiking and discovering the gorgeous Columbia River and taking tons of pictures along various falls. In one afternoon, Smiti and I were able to visit the Horsetail falls, the Wahkeena Falls and my favorite the Sheppard’s dell as well as go berry picking!
The sermon on Sunday felt like the most natural and logical explanation after spending time out in nature. When we got to the tunnel falls, which is located about a dozen miles up the Eagle Creek Trail; we soon realized that the trail’s passage is through a rock tunnel blast behind the waterfall and midway up a vertical basalt wall. It looked absolutely amazing but we opted not to hike this trail. We agreed to go back when we are more aptly dressed with proper gear and ready to walk in the water for most part of that trail.
Father Dave’s sermon on Sunday was from the Gospel according to Matthew 14:22-33 and was on the narration of Jesus walking on the water and Peter’s courage and faith (or lack of it) to also attempt the same. Relevant to today’s circumstances and situation, Father Dave was well able to make this scripture makes sense to us in the year 2014! One powerful thing I left Church with, is that walking on water is not only the literal meaning and sense of Smiti and I walking along the Tunnel Falls on a lovely Summer day in Portland and hoping not to fall, but is also the normal daily encounters we face in life. Walking on water may very well mean moving thousands of kilometers away from home to be part of this fellowship and leaving behind our family, friends and loved ones. Walking on water may also mean starting a new job and role or letting go of an old one. Walking on water to most Atlas Corps fellows may mean adapting to a new culture, lifestyle and a new schedule. Thinking about it, I don’t imagine that Peter felt as if the water could be comparable to walking on hard concrete or floorboards. He must have of course felt wobbly as if he was walking on an air mattress especially when the wind blew!
Similarly as we experience this fellowship we must have all felt nervous, unsure and concerned about a billion things directly or indirectly related to the choices we were making but we still made them anyway. Were we scared and felt unstable during those first few months? Of course yes! Were we worried we wouldn’t fit in or make a good impression at our host organizations? Maybe! All these situations are walking on water scenarios and guess what guys we are doing ok! If you are still going strong and aren’t quitting, the good news is your not sinking! And just like Peter, there may be those overwhelming strong winds that may occasionally blow your way and yes you might worry and hyperventilate but stand your ground and have faith, it too will believe it or not also come to pass!
It’s been 8 months now since class 14 go to the United States and were doing a great job walking this tight rope. I am forever grateful for this amazing opportunity and the great support and solidarity we have given each other. Walking on water is in my opinion, never meant to be easy but at the end of it; it makes us better people.
Here’s to a few more months of walking on water! Atlas Corps Fellows let’s finish our fellowship in style!