The past few weeks have been what winter is supposed to be like in Juneau - cold, clear weather, some snow on the ground and Twin Lakes frozen over. The frozen lake has provided untold hours of recreation for hundreds of people - everything from ice fishing to hockey to skating to cross country skiing. Those with dogs have found a whole new frozen world to explore and, in some cases, pulled in a sled by a willing canine.
I have to admit I'm always hesitant when I step out on a frozen lake. It's an act of faith for me to step out onto something that just a few days earlier had been water. I realize it's still water, but now it's frozen, or at least I hope it is. In my head I know it's solid, but a feeling in my gut reminds me that I cannot walk on water! But you can if it's frozen, so as I take those first steps I'm overwhelmed with a sense of trust.
When I take those first few steps onto the ice I am reminded of what it means to step into the impossible places holding the hand of God.
Sometimes faith is tested. Twin Lakes is a living thing, constantly shifting and moving with the changing temperature, the water level and the pressure of the ice. It's a helpless feeling to hear the cracking and popping sounds that the ice makes. I can remember as a young child being about a quarter of a mile out on a large frozen lake and hearing a crack in the ice from a long distance away - and then have the crack go right between my legs. That was a spiritual moment, too!
For the next six weeks leading up to the Easter season, we have an opportunity to step out in faith and to grow closer to God. We're not always sure what that might mean for us, but we can be assured that when we take those steps of faith, God will be stepping with us. The important thing is not to stand on the shore of the past, paralyzed by the fear of failure, but to step out in hope and trust. God is inviting us on an incredible journey. Be bold in your faith and take the first step!
Greg Lindsay is the pastor at Northern Light United Church.