Immediately, Jesus obliged his disciples to get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, towards Bethsaida, while he himself sent the crowd away. And having sent the people off, he went by himself to the hillside to pray.
When evening came, the boat was far out on the lake, while he was alone on the land. Jesus saw his disciples straining at the oars, for the wind was against them; and before daybreak he came to them, walking on the lake, and he was going to pass them by.
When they saw him walking on the lake, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they all saw him and were terrified. But at once he called to them, “Courage! It is I; don’t be afraid!” Then Jesus got into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely astonished, for they had not really grasped the fact of the loaves; their minds were dull.
There is a need to honor the natural rhythm of life that brings balance and harmony to one’s being. There is rhythm between work and rest, aloneness and togetherness, listening and speaking, silence and sound, and in practically all facets of life. Like Jesus, who took time for solitude to pray after the busy events of the day, we are reminded of the importance of paying attention to this rhythm and take time for rest and solitude when activities deplete our energies. Without taking time for reflection and developing our capacity for critical thinking, we can easily be deceived by our senses, and misunderstand or misinterpret events that happen before us as did the disciples who mistook Jesus as a ghost. Many of our fears and reactions are shadows of our unreflected and unaccepted selves. Socrates declared, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” We are unable to grow toward greater understanding of our true nature unless we take the time to examine and reflect upon our life. God has given us the capacity to be reflective so we may know and come to a deeper appreciation of the gift of life, which is worth living.
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