Splash—Just Like Peter!

By Debbonnaire Kovacs

Kenya Jayne Washington bent over and put her hands on the ground. Then she put the top of her head on the ground in between them. Ever so carefully, concentrating so hard she almost bit her tongue, she pushed her wobbly legs up into the air. There! She was standing on her head.

Everything looked really funny. She could see her friends upside down, playing on the swings and slide. Farther away, she could see grown-ups walking through the park. Standing on her head was the easy part. Now for the hard part. Grunting with effort, Kenya lifted her head so she was standing on her hands—and fell over.

Sighing and concentrating harder than ever, she tried again. Then again. Nobody could ever say Kenya was a quitter. She finally managed to stand on her hands. Clenching her teeth, she jerked one hand two inches. And fell.

“Did you see that?” she called to Matt, who was nearby. “I almost walked on my hands!”

“Uh-huh,” Matt answered without looking.

Kenya made a face and tried again. This time she walked two whole steps. “You guys, you guys, look!” She twisted her head to see if the others were watching. “I’m doing—” Thud! “Ow!”

The others ran over to her. “Are you all right?”

“I’m fine,” Kenya groaned, getting up and dusting herself off. Then she laughed. “I guess I’m just like Peter!”

“Like Peter?” Solly looked confused.

“Yeah—you know—when he walked on the water.” Kenya laughed. When he looked to see if his friends were watching—splash!

The others laughed too.

“What I don’t get,” Matt said suddenly, “is that other part of the lesson—the part about keeping our eyes on Jesus. I know we can’t really see Him, so what are we supposed to do, think about Him all the time?”

Susannah sat down. “I’ve been thinking about that too. I think it means to pay attention to what He wants and what pleases Him. Like walking on your hands, Kenya. Jesus probably likes it that you’re strong and you don’t give up. And it’s OK to share that with your friends. But if you were just showing off, or your friends wanted you to do something wrong, then are you paying attention to them or to Jesus?”

Kenya lay on her back, looking up at the sky. It was bright blue, but the leaves were almost all gone from the trees now. They probably couldn’t play outside like this much longer. “I paid more attention to my friends once,” she said thoughtfully. “At least, I thought they were my friends.”

“What did you do?” Mike asked.

“It was at my old school. These girls had a club, and you had to wear a certain sweater to be in it. I wanted to be in the club so badly that I took some money from Nairobi’s dresser to buy the sweater. I was actually in the store, at the counter, with the sweater in my hands. But at the last minute, I couldn’t buy it.”

“Why?” Matt asked.

“Because I could just imagine the look on Jesus’ face,” Kenya answered.

“There, you see, you were paying attention to Jesus more than to your friends,” Susannah said.

“He saved me, that’s for sure. I put the money back and told my dad and Nairobi all about it.”

“I get it,” Matt said, running his hands through a pile of dry, brown leaves. “We’re not exactly thinking about Him all the time, but He’s always in the back of our minds. Kind of like Dad or Mom. You always know they are there, even if you can’t see them.”

“Yeah, and you always know they can see you!” Kenya interrupted. “From ten miles away!”

The others laughed. It did sometimes seem that moms and dads had X-ray vision.

Matt grinned and continued. “I know if I only do a job halfway, she’ll be disappointed. Or I think how happy she’ll be if I do extra chores or clean my room without being told.”

“That’s for sure,” Susannah giggled. “She’d have a heart attack!”

Matt threw some of his leaves at her.

“I think keeping our eyes on Jesus also means that when we get discouraged, thinking about Him encourages us,” Mike put in. “I used to get so frustrated when it seemed that no matter how friendly we were to Mr. Fontaine, he was still cross and grumpy. Aunt Rose and Dad reminded me that Jesus still loved Mr. Fontaine, and that He was the only one who could really read Mr. Fontaine’s heart.”

“Or ours, for that matter,” Susannah added. “When I have a lot of work to do at home, it’s easier to do if I think that I’m doing it not just to help Mom or the boys but to help Jesus.”

“Especially if you sing,” Solly added.

“Yeah, that helps a lot,” Kenya agreed. “I wonder why?”

“My music teacher says music goes straight into your head,” Mike told them. “It doesn’t even pass through those—what do you call them in your brain—those decision centers, or whatever.”

“Really? Wow. I guess that means you’d better have already made the right decision before you start listening,” Kenya said. “Seems to me there’s music that would help you keep your eyes on Jesus and music that would take your eyes off Him.” She giggled suddenly. “Then, look out or else—splash—just like Peter!”

Kenya jumped up and put her hands and head on the ground. Quickly, without thinking about it too much, she pushed her feet up into the air and walked three whole steps on her hands.

All her friends cheered.

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