The snow had drifted into the valley below our farmhouse and there was a mile of whiteness on a crisp January morning when we watched the big milk tanker truck crest the next hill. The driver hesitated for a moment and we gathered at the window, wondering if he’d try to come down the road. He had to clear the valley and none of us knew how deep that snow was.
This was a big, heavy, powerful truck and soon it surged forward. Gaining speed, it aimed right for the drifts clogging the road, determinedly trusting its own speed and weight to push through. The explosion as it hit was incredible, shooting snow high in the air and completely veiling the truck.
But when the snow settled, the truck had stalled about a third of the way into the drifts, with snow pressed hard into every crevice of the body. Hours later, a huge tow truck pulled it backwards to free it and send it on a different path.
Peter stood before Jesus at the last supper with determination. “The rest may deny you but I never will.”
“Tonight, you will deny me three times,” Jesus answered.
But Peter refused to accept those words. He believed in the power of his own will and the strength of his own speed. He’d plow through what others could not.
After the explosion, when he was utterly mired in his own fear and failure, Jesus came along to pull him backwards, free him and send him on a different path.
Peter had surged forward confident of his own power and determination. But Jesus didn’t say, trust your own strength. In the end, after Peter’s utter failure, he said simply, Follow me.
Mistakes aren’t mistakes if they get you on the right road, following the right person.
Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me." John 21:22