“Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will!” said Peter to Jesus with great resolve. The evening progressed, and…nice try but no cigar. Later on Jesus told Peter, “No sweat, mate. I love you and you’ll be pope…sort of.” (That was Perry-phrased of course.)
I’d like to thank the boisterous lad for his propensity to leaping well before looking. Largely because that is the one trait of Peter I have been able to share with him, most likely the only trait. I’ve made bold proclamations for the sake of all that is good and right over the course of my fifty-plus years. Promises, pacts, pinky-swears, etc., broken. I’ve let more people down than I would ever care to admit. I’ve hurt people because they expected me to follow through on something to which I’d strongly committed that never happened.
“You said you’d be here and you weren’t!”
“You gave me your word!”
It sort of sounds like I’m beating myself up right now, which might be the case. But reality bears that I’ve had all of those sentences, and more, said to me, to my face because I didn’t do what I said I was going to do. What to do, what to do.
Here’s what I’ll do. When Jesus comes to me and asks, “Do you love me?” like Peter, I’ll reply, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” This will happen over and over and my response will be the same and I’ll just keep showing up, learning to do what I say, learning not to say what I’ll never be able to do. I’ll get up every morning and keep trying and trying and trust that I’ll actually follow through on my very righteous promises. And I’ll be grateful for an incredibly gracious group of family and friends who are able to forgive again and again and again: Seventy times seven? Nope. Way more than that.
Thank you, Peter. You give people like me hope. However, thank God I’ll never be pope!