“Run Away! Run Away!” the knights in Monty Python’s Holy Grail shout, as they flee from killer rabbits and cow bombardment. Wise action in the face of deadly adversity. But too often I have found that my gut response to adversity – run away! — isn’t the best course. Perseverance. Holding my ground. And yes, facing up to an intimidating opponent or action. These more difficult choices are often the right ones, leading to better outcomes than flight. And I’m getting better at making those choices, but it’s still hard to stay the course, when I’m unsure of myself, and frankly, a little afraid.
One Sunday in St. Petersburg, I had made one of those choices – to abandon the familiar comfort of the work environment, and stride into my in-laws’ emotional and practical crisis. I knew it was the right thing to do, but I was nervous and unsettled. My flight was booked to the United Kingdom one way. No return trip to Russia – my visa was for one visit. No onward flight to California – I had no way of knowing how long it would take, to get from crisis to equilibrium.
Racing around St. Petersburg that morning to see what sights I could, I stepped into the quiet vestibule of St. Petrie’s church. A modern tapestry hung there, an illustration of Matthew 14:31.
Jesus was walking on the water. Peter had stepped out of the boat, and had been walking on the water towards Jesus. But he had became afraid, and started to sink. Jesus is reaching out and pulling him to safety with those oft quoted words, “Oh ye of little faith.”
How apt. Here I was, stepping forward, wanting to be brave. And there was Jesus, “Don’t be afraid. I’m right here. I won’t let you drown.”
Susan – sad to hear about your mother-in-law – it must have been a pretty hard trip to make. It’s strange how these things seem to come in waves – the last few weeks my Susan (Cohen ne Kundin)’s mom was in the ICU for several weeks with heart problems – which she seems to have put behind her but the outcome was not at all clear for a while – and two others of my friends have had similar issues with their mothers or mothers-in-law…hang in there!
No matter what happens, we can always be confident that we don’t go through our trials alone. He is ever faithful! Blessings, Mary http://onewhitetree.wordpress.com/