Do you ever worry that the world is a little out of control???
Weren’t we all feeling this way a little over a year ago as we were confronted with some pretty unsettling things – especially the onset of a deadly virus about which we knew nothing --- and the outbreak and widespread unrest and violence in our nation’s streets??
Either one of these events by themselves would have caused many of us to be worried – but both at the same time was especially troubling.
Add to that the economic turmoil that set in, and many, many people worried the world was just a bit out of control. . .
We began to wonder if the way things were then – were going to be the way things were going to be for a very long time. We were worried that things were NEVER going to get better. And wonder if all of this was the “NEW NORMAL.”
“They woke Jesus and said to him: ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’”
So asked the disciples as they were faced with a very unsettling situation.
It’s interesting, I think, that St. Mark does not say the disciples were waking Jesus and asking him for help. Just that they woke him and wondered why he seemed to NOT care about what was happening to them.
It’s important to remember that were reading from chapter four in Mark’s Gospel --- so it’s early in Jesus ministry. So the disciples had seen a few healings and had heard a few parables --- but their understanding of who Jesus was --- was still very limited at this point. The disciples really had not yet experienced the full force of Jesus’ divine nature. . . they just wondered how he could remain so calm while there was danger all around them. . .
And Jesus question to them reveals his answer: Do you not yet have faith??
As we sang last week: No storm can shake my inmost calm – while to that rock I’m clinging. . .
The disciples thought they were in a pretty bad situation – their world was a little out of control --- and they were not quite sure things would get better. They weren’t yet that trusting in God looking out for them – weren’t hopeful in a better outcome – and therefore could not begin to understand how Jesus wasn’t just as scared as they were.
And that makes perfect sense. We would probably be thinking the same thing. It’s NOT that the disciples completely lacked hope, or trust, or faith. It’s just that when things got really tough – they allowed the storm around them to take control – allowed the present moment to take over and dominate and overshadow their minds, hearts, and thoughts.
Their world was out of control – and they could not do a thing about it!
But we know how the story turns out. Jesus stepped in and made things better – calmed the storm – took what was chaotic and frightening and transformed it into something much different – something filled with calm, and peace, and safety.
Since Christ is lord of heaven and earth – how can I keep from singing??
So do we fall into the same trap as the disciples did? Do we get overwhelmed by the difficulties of life (either those outside of us or those inside of us)?
And then do we presume things will never get better, that things CAN never be better – that God is somehow asleep at the switch – oblivious to our concerns – no longer really in charge of and watching over the universe or us?? Do these continual challenges and sorrows and obstacles and heartaches become our ‘NEW NORMAL’?
OR do we hope and trust and have faith that every single thing in this world can be made better, and that no hurt or wrong or injustice or danger need remain? Today is simply today – tomorrow can be whatever God wants it to be – and what we are willing to do our part to help bring about.
Injustices can be righted.
Our wounded planet can be healed.
Relationships can be strengthened.
Hungry people can be fed.
Despair can become hope.
Pride can become humility.
Sin can be acknowledged and overcome by the grace of God.
There are no limits to the good God can bring about from any challenge or struggle we are having – whether that be something happening around us or within us.
Because that is the power of the resurrection –
the power that renders power-less whatever death we are currently suffering through. For when our faith is truly alive within us – when we are growing the seeds of God’s kingdom --- we will never consider anything as the “new normal”. Rather, each day will be seen as an opportunity to work with God to calm the storms around us and within us – helping bring about a peace that only God can give.
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