One of the things that can block us from receiving nurturing is fear.
I love science fiction, I am a bit of, as our youngest twinnie calls me, a dork; supposedly a grade up from a nerd, but I think she is just being nice. One book I enjoyed as a teen was Dune. I was fascinated by the Benne Gessrit, a secret semi-religious oder that controls much of the politics in the Dune books; what fascinated me was that these women sought to control their emotional nature, much like the Vulcan of Star Trek. Both saw emotions as necessary but needing to be control so that full logic could emerge.
It is also the theme of today’s Gospel: Matthew 14:22-36. The disciples struggled to cross the stormy sea, straining at the oars all night long until Jesus finally came to them in the fourth watch—which would have been between 3:00 and 6:00 in the morning! That’s a long time to be fighting such violent seas. (1) Do they call out to Jesus, no, they try to take care of it themselves, and find themselves in deeper trouble. Jesus calls out to Peter to have faith and come to him; Peter does but when he sees where he is and what is going on around him he falters and begins to sink.
As moms we all know that feeling! We have these little guys and they are just wonderful, so cute and we are beginning to feel like we might have this mothering thing down! Then something comes up, something we are not quite ready for, and our boat rocks a bit, but its OK, we still have this! As our children get elder our boat rocks a little harder and its not as easy to recovery, and that is when we can begin to lose our balance, we become lost in the situation and can no longer right our little boat. That is when we also lose much of ourselves, of our spiritual nurturing. We are like the disciples in the boats asking what is that on the water!!!
So deep into our situation that we no longer “see”, “feel”, or “hear”. We develop a kind of tunnel vision, one in which we believe that if we are in control of everything we can correct everything, make everything prefect. What that tunnel vision does for us is just what it did for the disciples, makes us/them fearful.
We can have no control over anything in our lives. We can’t, even with our sheer will, make everything better, go the way we want. We must like Peter take that first step out of our little boat, out of our comfort zone of control and worry and “walk on the water.”
What Jesus was asking Peter to do is what he asks us to do, forget control it isn’t real, concentrate on the only thing that can be controlled ourselves, especially our emotions. Letting fear and worry have control is like asking the toddlers to take over, nothing gets done but it looks like a hurricane came through.
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
- Tuesday (August 7): “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” (shechina.wordpress.com)
- “Take heart, it is I; have no fear” (worryisuseless.wordpress.com)
- Organizing the Inside – Day 338 Choose to Live Fearlessly (lizmason.wordpress.com)