At that time, when it was late, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and Jesus alone on the land. And seeing His disciples straining at the oars, for the wind was against them, about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking upon the sea, and He would have passed by them. But they, seeing Him walking upon the sea, thought it was a ghost, and cried out. For they all saw Him, and were troubled. Then He immediately spoke to them, and said to them, Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid. And He got into the boat with them, and the wind fell. And they were utterly beside themselves with astonishment, for they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was blinded. And crossing over, they came to the land of Genesareth and moored the boat. And when they had gotten out of the boat, the people at once recognized Him; and they hurried through the whole country, and began to bring the sick on their pallets, wherever they heard He was. And wherever He went, into village or hamlet or town, they laid the sick in the market places, and entreated Him to let them touch but the tassel of His cloak; and as many as touched Him were saved.
In our comfort, when something big enters into our sphere and creates a shock, we focus directly on that rather than if it is a good thing or a bad thing. It’s a change, and it’s in the way of our comfort, and that’s all there is to it! We don’t see the bigger picture for our fear. It’s not until we take a breath and assess the actual change in front of us that we see it for what it is. A great wave, or a ghost, ends up being something significantly better! Not just for us, but for others who end up encountering it later.
And often, as the reading tells us, these changes sometimes would go unnoticed if we weren’t looking out for them.
Which means we choose to keep watch for the threat, or what we perceive to be the threat.
We don’t see the big picture this way. It’s not easy to open our minds, especially if we are fixed in our comforts!
Lent calls us to break from our comforts, break from the barriers that keep us safe, and see the opportunity for growth beyond our limitations. It seems somewhat counter intuitive seeing that we are giving up, fasting, denying ourselves.
Denying ourselves the indulgence of panic allows us to see the beauty of change. It’s difficult! But it gets easier every time we do it.