Sunday, August 7, 2011

Something about missing the obvious

Today's gospel reading is the story of Jesus (and Peter) walking on the water. Here's something I found on Lindy Black's site that is both humorous and intriguing. There's actually a lot here when you think about it:

There is an old story that has often been re-told in especially the Eastern Orthodox part of the church. According to the tale, a devout abbot from a monastery decided to take a prolonged spiritual retreat in a small cabin located on a remote island in the middle of a large lake. He told his fellow monks that he wanted to spend his days in prayer so as to grow closer to God. For six months he remained on the island with no other person seeing him or hearing from him in all that time. But then one day, as two monks were standing near the shore soaking up some sunshine, they could see in the distance a figure moving toward them. It was the abbot, walking on water, and coming toward shore. After the abbot passed by the two monks and continued on to the monastery, one of the monks turned to the other and said, "All these months in prayer and the abbot is still as stingy as ever. After all, the ferry costs only 25 cents!" Humor aside, the point of the story is that it's amazing how easily we may sometimes miss the significance of something that is right in front of us. It’s the kind of thing that could motivate one to take a fresh look at even the very familiar, like the story in Matthew 14 about Jesus (and then Peter) walking on water.

-- Scott Hoezee



  1. It occurs to me that we are likely to sink while walking on water not out of a lack of faith but because we can only walk on water when we're totally focused on something beyond ourselves. When we become aware of ourselves walking on water the tension that existed on the surface of reality, which consists of our total focus beyond ourselves, dissolves. Without that tension there is nothing to prevent us from sinking.

  2. This is a good image, Tom - that of the surface tension of the water.

    And, yes, I agree that our ability to work "wonders" completely unravels when we become self-referencing again.

  3. I understand it well because it was always my "fatal flaw" as a soloist. Ironically the one time I overcame it was when I sang the part of the braggart Miles Gloriosus in "A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum." I was able to forget myself because my character was so involved with himself. LOL

  4. Oh, I remember that well, Tom. You were DYNAMITE in that role!

    Great show. One of the all time greats in comedy.

  5. And I remember that you accompanied the little theater production on the piano, wonderfully, as you've always done everything musical.


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