I have to personally asked Explorefaith to send me a copy of their reflection posted last October 3, 2008 and the site was gracious enough to respond to my request. The piece is written by Rev. Larry Pray. I hope it will move you enough just as it moved me to tears.
“Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they launched out.
What is your favorite verse of scripture?
It is a simple enough question. One would think it is asked all the time.
But surprisingly enough, the response given often harks back to the
scripture of the day, or the theme of the church year. We know a favorite
passage is there, we’re just not sure exactly which verse, or even which
story has claimed our heart.
When we do let the question linger, and begin to answer it, we realize we
are mapping the course of our lives. There is a reason those verses became
personal, a reason God lodged them in our heart, and a reason we keep
returning to them. There is a reason they shed light on our lives.
For me, Jesus’ invitation to go to the “other side” is a centering call. I
sense what he is asking. We are born; we age; and we cross to the other
side. All kinds of things happen along the way. There are storms. There
are winds. There is fear. And, in the boat, right beside us, there is
Jesus traveling with us as we all make our way to the other side.
I have seen that boat in stained glass windows. I have seen it in
paintings. I have seen it in my imagination. And I have seen it in the
course of my life. When a heart attack almost ended the journey, God said,
“Let’s keep traveling.” When it happened again, we kept traveling. When
events seemed to conspire against me, I knew they were no more than a
mid-passage storm, and that I hadn’t been invited to travel only half-way
across the lake.
Time after time I return to that simple invitation: “Let us go over to the
other side of the lake.” I am thankful that I do not have to make the
passage alone. I am thankful for the boat, which I realize is the church,
for I know I could not swim the distance. Today, and tomorrow, Jesus’
words ring true. I am thankful for their presence in my life.
Gracious God, help us accept your invitation. When we are afraid give us strength to keep traveling, lift fear from us, and thank you for traveling with us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Photo credit: Fr. William