It’s ugly here right now. More often than not I feel like the father in Mark 9:24 “I do believe! Help me overcome my unbelief!” I go from being so sure, to being completely uncertain and shaken. I’m sort of, just…numb.
There’s so much hate. So much anger and rage.
Just like there has always been, I suppose. The difference is we hear it all the time. It’s beaten into our ears with our 24 hour news cycle and imprinted for our eyes to hungrily feast on anytime we look at our screens. Our hearts and spirits are broken. We are so broken. I don’t know how to explain things to my children. So I don’t. I may be wrong by shielding them, but selfishly, I’d like to preserve their innocence just a little bit longer.
How much longer will it be like this? You said that we “will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that [we] are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” It’s hard to not be alarmed. To not be scared. Is what I’m doing enough? Is raising children to be kind, patient, loving and productive adults going to be enough? Is helping people workout their physical health serving a greater good? I’d like to believe it does. But, I’m not always so sure.
In church today our pastor spoke of Peter in the boat. He called out to you, “Lord, if it is you, tell me to come to you on the water,” and you said, “Come” but the minute he shifted focus from you and saw the wind – he sank. Our focus has to be you.
The boat is like life. We can be in this cushy comfortable “boat” and say, “I follow you” but you aren’t in the boat, are you? You are outside the safe and the comfortable. You aren’t in the nice cars and the polished exteriors. You don’t only reside in the nicer part of town. What you ask of us is scary. It scares me. Am I really willing to go deeper? Life is scary outside the boat. Making my beliefs match my actions is so hard. All the dramas, the petty things and the minutiae of life shift my focus all the time.
All. the. time.
I want to radically follow. Help my unbelief. Help me push through the fear. Help me not get sidetracked by crap that is of no lasting significance.
I know sitting shocked and marveling at the injustice of the world, remarking about how awful things are right now is doing nothing to change it. Being distracted by angry words and watching virtual word battles between sides of all manner of issues helps no one. So I will turn away from the ugly. I will turn towards you.
And step outside this boat.