Mark 4:35-41 is one of my favourite stories about Jesus from the Gospels. It is a parable for us, today, whenever the storms of our lives confront the presence of Jesus …
As the weather turns from mild to severe, listen to this guided meditation to help you reflect more deeply on this story, and what it means for your life. Wherever you are seated right now, I invite you to become quiet in your heart and mind. Notice your breath. Feel your body pressing down on the seat of your chair. Hear the faithful, regular beating of your heart. You may close your eyes gently …
“You are on the rough seas. Your boat is tossing and turning in the stormy waters. Think of the storms in your own life …. Then . . .
Quiet yourself in the space you inhabit right now.
Enjoy the silence.
Let go of the distractions.
Let all your thoughts, like the birds, fly away far into the sky above.
Imagine . . .
What a great time you have had.
You and your friends have been following Jesus for days now.
You are dead tired, but still content as you find a place to rest in the boat.
Look around at the friends you have made.
Look at Jesus who is sitting at the stern.
How you admire him!
Feel the slow-moving lull of the boat.
Relax as the waves gently lull the boat back and forth.
Back and forth.
Some of your friends fall asleep.
Jesus falls asleep, too.
The boat keeps moving across the lake.
You think about the day.
Your mind is just wandering.
The wind starts blowing.
You can tell it is becoming harder to row now.
The current is choppy.
The sky is now black.
Take your turn with the oars.
Work hard against the waves and wind, pushing.
Feel the storm approaching.
The waves begin to surge into the boat.
The water is coming in over the sides.
Everyone is working so hard. Where is the bailer?
Someone yells out, “Wake up Jesus.
We need his help.
You let go of your oar and scramble over the slippery deck towards Jesus.
Wake him up …
Jesus sits up and looks around.
He calls out, “Quiet” to the wind.
The wind stops.
Just like that, the waves settle down and the wind dissipates.
Jesus looks like he wants to go back to sleep.
What just happened?
Jesus looks at all of you and says,
“Why are you so terrified?
Why are you lacking in faith?”
A great awe comes over you.
“Who is this man whom even the sea obeys?”
Stay with this feeling of wonderment.
You crawl back over to where Jesus is resting.
You approach him cautiously.
And you ask him your question,
“Who are you that the sea obeys you?”
Listen to his answer.
Tell him about something in your life that is raging,
a storm in your world,
a situation that could use Jesus’ touch.
When you are finished you hear only the gentle lapping of the waves against the hull of the boat. For now, you simply rest in Jesus’ presence. Be with him.
It is time to re-enter your space.
Say good-bye for now.
Ask Jesus to lead your way into the rest of the day.
You thank him.
Come back gently.
Open your eyes.
This Guided Meditation was adapted from Patty McCulloch, Encountering Jesus: 20 Guided Meditations on His Care and Compassion (Ave Maria Press, 2001).
Thank you for listening.