When I read scripture, when I read a blog post, when I listen to a friend vent, I now ask myself, “Who am I in the story?” My pastor taught me to listen deeper, to wonder more about what role I would take, to question whether I really would be the hero or am I the one questioning God or remaining silent when an ally is needed. Are all the people around me being difficult or is it me? As in introspective person by nature, this practice has shifted my role into personal accountability and away from helplessness, dramatically increasing my understanding of our interconnectedness.
Musing this week on the story of Jesus and the disciples on the boat when the wind kicks up, a storm hits, and the frightened followers wake Jesus to share the bad news. Can you imagine the terror of the roaring wind, the waves crashing into the boat, the water covering their ankles? Yet Jesus is sleeping. While they worry and fret, while they shout out their fear, Jesus sleeps. Oh how I wish I could be the one in the story that calms everyone, reminds them they are in the company of God, encourages them to marvel at the sky filled with lightening. Of course if I were there on that boat, I could calmly trust that God is aware of the high sea and that His love for me provides all the safety I need.
The truth is I would be leading the disciples in worrying. I would be enlisting others to grab cups to scoop out the water. I would forget to pray until I had taken charge of securing all losses items, and closing all the windows. I would try to wake God up, giving Him my report on the situation and outlining the “10-point plan to fix this mess,” graciously sharing my vast knowledge. Oh if only just one time I could let go of trying to wake Jesus to the storms in my life. He asks the disciples who they think controls the wind and the water, why they can’t trust Him when He is right there with them. I am sure He grows weary asking me the same question. How many times must I witness Him commanding the water to storm crashing about me before I know it wants my intervention that did it, it was always His plan?
My worry list has grown much longer than my gratitude account and life feels stormy. Today I am striving to be the disciple that reminds others that God has this. If God can silence the storm he can surely quiet mean people and protect addicts and restore relationships. He isn’t worried. He isn’t staying up all night, wringing his hands and admitting maybe this problem is just too big. He has yet to concede, saying, “I better call Lisa so we can get this situation back under control.” His call is always to trust him not to lead him. That is the person I want to be in the story.