Your life in equilibrium.
Everything in the right proportion. Health. Wealth. Love. And everything in between.
Like a calm and smooth puddle. Not a drop out of place. When you look down at it, you see your beautiful reflection. Like a mirror.
Undisturbed. Did I say that already? Oh! Yes, I did.
And you’re living this life without any care in the world. Of course, why should there be? You owe no one, so life shouldn’t owe you.
Till someone throws a pebble in your puddle . . . and now there is a ripple . . . and another, and some more.
Somehow, an external force has come to ruffle your feathers and nothing is the same anymore. But what vexes you the most is this external force. It just won’t stop. The stones keep coming and the ripples keep growing till they begin to clash as one hits the other, causing a storm.
Without this force, your puddle is otherwise calm. Now your puddle is agitated, and there’s not much you can do. It’s not going to calm until the stones stop coming. But you don’t know that. You can only see your puddle rage and you are freaking out. If it doesn’t calm down, you’ll surely drown in your puddle.
“CAN’T YOU SEE THAT I’M ABOUT TO DROWN?”
Now I’m scared. In my fear, I begin to weep, and my tears are dropping in my puddle, causing more ripples. I need my puddle to stay calm, but if I use my hands to cuddle it quiet, just a little touch will trouble it the more. So my tears continue to fall. And my puddle continues to billow. But I focus on my puddle.
I. Focus. On. My. Puddle.
Many years ago, some men got in a boat. After a long day at the shore, feeding a very hungry crowd without trolleys or trays, they needed a well deserved time of rest. So off to home-base, they steered their boat hoping to get there in time for supper. On the way, they talked about the days gone by, how their lives had changed since they met this man sleeping right there. Yes. Sleeping. The man in question was also tired. Obviously more tired than they were since he was the only one asleep.
The conversation went from the popular first: how for whatever reason, the taste of the water he turned to wine still lingered on the back of their tongues. How could anyone want to forget that? And then the very recent occurrence. There were only 5 loaves of bread. And it wasn’t one of Peter’s sleepy moments so he knew he counted right. And the 2 fish? Yes. There were just 2 of them. Enough to feed a little boy and his ‘long-throated’ friends. So how they ended up packing 12 baskets full of fish and bread still left them gobsmacked. It must be all fun to roll with a man who can get you wine, fish and bread for your wedding reception, and baby dedication, and charity event, free of charge. Funny how their conversation only lingered around food.
And then there was a sound. And a sudden movement. Looking up, they could see their sail flap with a strange rhythm. As John stretched his hand out from the boat and dipped his fingers into the water, he could feel the waves hit hard.
A storm was coming.
Soon the wind that was only a whisper became a loud bang in their ears. Tossing and turning the waves in all directions and tossing their boat with it. The waves that once worked in their favour, directing their boat to shore, now became more than a nuisance. And soon began to make it’s way into the boat, threatening to drown them.
But the man who turned water into wine, and multiplied fish and bread, was asleep. Maybe this was outside his jurisdiction. Maybe he could only do all to fill a belly, but not save men from the belly of the sea. So he stayed out of it by sleeping. For sure, there was no way this boat did not toss and turn him to wake up. He had to have seen that this was too much for him. So he pretended to sleep.
But they were having none of it. If he had the power to multiply food, he should at least try something to save them.
“Teacher, is it nothing to you that we’re going down?”
Did they startle him? Wasn’t he already aware of what was going on? I don’t know. But he got up from his slumber, and with a stern look on his face, he stood facing the direction of the raging wind that had disturbed his sleep and gave it a stern warning:
“Now pipe down, wind!”
And the wind ran out of breath. There was silence. The noisy wind fled with its tail between its legs and left only its shadow behind.
But the waves still raged. You see, when the wind came, it shook the waters in a crazy frenzy, and though the wind had left, the waters couldn’t stop moving. Only time could settle it from the effects of an external force. But there is One who wraps time around his waist like a belt. And this One, still standing in the boat, looked with compassion at the ruffled waves and said ever so softly:
“It’s alright now. Settle down!”
And the sea became smooth as glass. Not. One. Ripple. Remained.
I’m looking at my raging puddle. But should I? So I look up and see the stones flying in my direction. They keep coming to ruffle my puddle. And until they stop, my puddle will continue to rage. I have seen that my puddle is powerless against this external force that bothers it. I can tell it to be still, but another stone might come again, and it’ll be raged. Now I know what I must do.
I MUST ADDRESS THAT EXTERNAL FORCE . . . I must take out the stones. I must rebuke the wind.
I rise with my head held high, I walk up to the little boy just ahead from me. He’s laughing condescendingly. He knows what a nuisance he’s being. But I walk up to him and meet his gaze, and with no smile on my face I say:
“That’s enough! No more stones!”
He sees my confidence. Well, not mine, but the one that shines from the One in the boat, through me. He looks into my eyes and sees his own reflection, it’s one of a little boy. He looks back at himself. He sees a grown man. He looks at his reflection again and sees an even littler boy. He sees himself shrinking in my eyes as my faith grows stronger in the One who gives me confidence. One stone after the other fall to the ground. He runs away . . . he lives to fight another day. Maybe he’ll change his weapon and use arrows next time; but when he returns, I’ll be waiting. For now, I must walk back to my puddle. If time has not calmed it yet, I know the One who can.
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I wrote this post in 2017 when I first started this blog. It’s months old, but the message is still as relevant today as it will be tomorrow. I’m sharing it again just to encourage you.