Do you remember the old days? I must be feeling a little older as sometimes I find myself looking back and seeing the past with rose-tinted spectacles… for us all it may be a time of carefree childhood, a point when we were madly in love or a sense of satisfaction and joy in our professional lives – I think elite athletes may talk about “flow” or this may be like Ken Robinson’s “element“.
As a teacher I have this view of “life in the summer term” when I was first teaching. It was a time when you could get to do the things you had been desperate to focus on all year, you got space to think…. ultimately it felt like you had the most precious gift – “time”. I also remember it as always being sunny so perhaps it is not a memory based in great realism!
This term we look to set aside some time to give people the chance to stop, think and breath. Departments and teams spend time reviewing and evaluating the year and planning ahead. Ultimately it also helps us to just “be together” to build a clear sense of belonging, teamwork and trust in one another.
In the Gospel reading this week we hear the narrative of the “Calming of the Storm”. It starts with Jesus and the disciples withdrawing from the crowd. Perhaps overwhelmed with the intensity, demands and relentlessness of life. They set out on some boats and looked to relax. Jesus slept… whilst this was happening a storm engulfed the boats and they were overwhelmed with fear as the waves crashed around them.
This narrative has a rich symbolism relating to how we sometimes may feel overwhelmed in our lives. We may feel that we live at such a pace that it is impossible to get the time and space to think and breath. We can’t see the horizon or direction we should go in.
In the second half or the Gospel account Jesus is woken up by the disciples who believe He has abandoned them. He chastises them for not having faith – they should have realised that He wasn’t going to allow this to happen but in a very human way their faith had deserted them even when they needed it most.
A few questions from this account;
- How can we find time and space in our lives to get the balance right? Staff prayer on a Friday from 8am is an ideal place to find this for 10-15 minutes.
- How can we try and stick with our faith in good times and challenge?
- How can we look for support from one another when we feel we could be “drowning” and not just rely on God to bail us out?
I hope this week you can find some oasis of calm after the storm – if we can savour this it can set us up for whatever the future holds.