There’s a thought that I had last week for our Gospel reading – It comes when Jesus has just finished feeding the people. He took 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread and he fed five thousand people. Pretty impressive, right? Jesus, immediately after, goes up the mountain to pray and to avoid being made “king” by force.
The thing that caught me though is: “When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum.” There is no talk of a prearranged meeting or anything of the sort. They get in a boat – and they head across. And my wonderment is – and pardon the food pun – had they bit off more than they could chew?
Sometimes I think it would have been pretty impressive to be a disciple at Jesus’ side. I also imagine that it often was overwhelming and frightening while watching God at work tangibly in the flesh. And maybe sometimes it gets so overwhelming and awesome (in the true sense of the word awe-some) that you just have to get into a boat and you sail away…
We can leave God at the seashore or up on the mountain because life with the Almighty is a lot – and sometimes it’s like you need a break. Even coming to church every Sunday during the summer can seem like it’s overwhelming. And so the disciples try it without God. They get into boat of life and give it a go.
But then there is wind, and waves, and water. As much as they struggle at the oars and the rudder to make life go somewhere, the ship seems without progress and ready to capsize. And just at the moment when arms, legs, and souls are tired, God comes walking on water in the midst of the hurricane. The winds cease and the waves fade and life just seems to get where it is going.
So here is my take away: Life with God is a bit much some time. We can get in the boat and head off our own. Maybe not the smartest thing to do, but definitely a human thing to do. And when it hits the fan and we have realized that we have bit off more than we can chew, God comes walking thru the worst storm to our little boat, calming waves and wind, and getting us back on our way.