Daily Reflection
August 3rd, 1999
Bob Whipple
Numbers 12:1-13
Matthew 14:22-36 or Matthew 15:1-2, 10-14

Humans are fearful, doubting creatures sometimes. We see something coming and we don't know what it is, so we are afraid; when first told that it's not a bad thing, we doubt.  "Are you sure?" we say. "How can we tell?"

Christ walks toward the boat on the water.  This scares the heck out of the sailors.  "A ghost!" they say.  As humans, the disciples share humanity's propensity for thinking the worst (psychotherapists call it catastrophizing).  If it's sudden, it must be trouble; if it's a surprise, unwelcome; if it's walking across the water, it must be a ghost.

But God has given us lives to do many, many things in, and being constantly fearful is not one of them.  Ourlives are scintillating, fascinating, and, yes, scary.  But fear is not, snould not be, a constant.  Especially when what comes to us is sometimes a miracle.

But accepting the sudden miracle--on faith alone, as Peter tries, and fails, to do--and banishing fear is hard to do.  There are some days when I am in my office, and the phone will ring, and my attitude is "Oh, God, what is it _now_?"  The ephemera of life become the substance of it.  To paraphrase the title of a popular self-help book, we too often sweat the small stuff. Distracted from life in God, we see the distractions swell and obstruct our sight.

It's when we take a few (or a few dozen) deep breaths, either actually, spiritually, or metaphorically, and gain perspective that we see our existences and those of the ones around us in clearer detail.  Christ is, after all, not just part of the big picture--he is the big picture.  And when we see the miracles existence along with the travails, we may find ourselves saying to ourselves" now what was _that_ all about, anyway?"

And thus it's good to remember, from time to time, especially when the phone rings, the email beeps, the knock is at the door, or someone starts walking toward you across the Sea of Galilee, what he said:

"Take heart, it is I; have no fear."

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