The disciples were tired.
Bone tired, wiped out.
Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves somewhere to rest.”
And since they had boats, they went by boat. Headed for a quiet place.
Maybe they were quiet on the boat, looking at the water.
Maybe they asked Jesus questions or told him thoughts.
Maybe they anticipated where they were going, looking forward to having him all by themselves.
I do that.
I think so much about the future sometimes I forget to enjoy the present.
But I am a good traveller, and I revel in the moment.
In an airport, what’s the layout?
Who are these people passing me, what stories?
What do the workers here do when they have time off?
Are there people sleeping on a bumpy seat?
Will the planes be on time?
Will we have an unplanned layover if planes miss connections?
I keep an unspoken dialog going (or maybe it’s a monologue?) with my unseen Companion.
If I’m traveling alone, I pray, trusting God for the people around me. If traveling with others I might invite them to pray. Safety, peace. Especially during turbulence, as with earthquakes, prayer is the only peace.
So let’s say the disciples were like passengers (and pilots) in a plane.
They arrive at their destination, pleasantly remote, but before they can secure the boat, swab the deck, disembark, whatever, there is a crowd!
What happened to our vacation?
You can run (sail) but you can’t hide.
Jesus had compassion on the multitude, for they were like sheep without a shepherd.
He taught them.
(Did the disciples, um, rest? Did they listen? Did they grumble?)
He fed them, miraculously.
(The disciples served: first passing out food, then collecting scraps.)
Here’s what I wondered:
Didn’t Jesus know ahead of time that the people would follow?
Did he offer the disciples to go away to a quiet place to rest knowing that it would be the going that would be restful and that more ministry would await them upon arrival?
Did he maybe find miracles restful?
Did he mean for them to, to get so caught up in the joy they’d be rejuvenated?
Because I’m just stoked at a miracle happening, no matter how dead tired beforehand.
Like the time I was caught in traffic on the way to the airport and prayed, “Lord, you be in charge of the timing,” and then refused to worry. We got to the airport just in time and the plane was delayed. The idea of the prayer and the refusal to worry, they were the miracles worked in me.
Trusting Jesus, because maybe his timing is different from what I expect and he knows, even better than I do, what it is that I need. Asking him to be in charge of all my little details so that when plans change or interruptions come, I can trust him to be working something out that I don’t know but is better than what I could have planned.
Thanking and praising God because, really, it is the most fun and it is practice for eternity.