Taking Stock

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New Years Day is always a good day to take stock. How did I do with that whole “eat less carbs” thing? How did I do with reading to my children, exercise, staying in touch with old friends, saving money, and the discipline of prayer and meditation?

Eh. Not so good.

While there is something cliché and refreshing about New Year’s resolutions and starting over, I cannot help but feel a little sad as I think of all the stories of people’s lives I carry with me. Too many people I loved, died. Too many people I loved faced cancer and open heart surgeries and divorce. It frightens me to face this fresh new year and think, “Who will I lose? What will happen to “so and so?” What threatening storms are out there?

I feel like that disciple in the boat, hunkered down in the bow, with a tarp over me shielding me from the storm. Scared to death. Jesus is over there sleeping. Just zonked out, while this storm swirls around and I think, “what’s going to happen?” And he sleeps. Don’t tell me I should be sleeping too. I’m not Jesus and I can’t sleep, because there is a sea sickening storm taking over and my boat is little and the waves are big. I want Jesus to wake up and calm the sea and provide smooth sailing. I know he can do it. Why doesn’t he wake up?

Is it because the storm will pass? Is it because even though there is a storm out there, Jesus, himself is on my boat? Shouldn’t that be enough? Yeah, these are rough waters and I’m not sure how or when the storm will pass, and surely another storm will come, but Jesus is on the boat. He’s right up there letting the big waves rock him to sleep. He’s not indifferent, he’s present. He’s right there.

I peek out from my tarp, and see him through the storm. I keep my eyes on him and suddenly the storm while very real, is not a real threat. Stay with me.

“Dear Lord, be good to me
the sea is so wide
and my boat is so small.”

Irish Fisherman’s Prayer

Being with people in the storms of their life, is the greatest privilege. Their stories remain with me. Always. I would not change a thing.

Happy New Year.

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