Sunday, July 19, 2009

Don't Panic!

Don’t panic.
While on vacation, the family went rafting down the Spring River in Arkansas. While the rapids were pretty tame we managed to make it down the river still loving each other at the end. There was one point in the river as we attempted to go over a rapid, the raft got stuck. The water was only a few feet deep but was rushing past us at an incredible force. We were still stuck on the little water fall. As I was by far the heaviest, I stepped out of the raft to free us. As I stepped out the raft, it jetted down the rapid leaving me standing in the cold rushing water. While Abby yelled “We are leaving Daddy.” Will took charge to save his father and paddled in circles, and Kellie laughed at all our lack of rafting skills, I stood on the ledge watching them float to safety. Abby was worried about my safety, I was concerned about their safety, and we all seemed to be stranded in this perpetual moment in time. After the moment subsided, they paddled to calmer water, and I proceeded to walk to the comfort and safety of the raft to rejoin our family adventure. I was quiet and clam walking to the raft focused on our reunion until I stepped on a snake. (I really don’t like snakes.)
In the 6th chapter of the gospel of John, we are told of a story of Jesus teaching and preaching the good news to thousands of people. The apostles approached him in a panic as it was getting late and the people had not eaten. They were only focused on the physical needs of the people. Jesus tells Philip to go and buy them something to eat. Philip reminds Jesus only of the financial sacrifice or commitment needed to feed that many people. Jesus calmly lays out a plan for God’s miracle to feed the thousands. It was all possible with the resources of a young boy. God fed all those that day with what little was offered. All the people were nourished both physically and spiritually with plenty left over. It reminds us that miracles are carried out by God and giving what resources we have no matter the size is the necessary ingredient God needs to initiate the miracle. Occasionally we can’t see past our own fears or our present predicament to allow Christ to touch others. Ever so often, we are only focused on the physical (only what we can see with our eyes) and not focused on the spiritual needs of others. We forget that the One who feeds the thousands, walked on water, and offers grace and mercy, also has a plan for you and our faith community. Our security is found in Christ’s plan for us. Only if we are willing to give up whatever we have for others.
Watch out for snakes, see ya in church, and take care of yourself and one another.