Stress! Panic! Pressure! Today I am suffering from information overload. There is so much I need to find out. One piece of information just seems to lead to another question and suddenly I am lost in a maze. It is all too much to absorb. I need time. I need to lose the sense of urgency that is driving me close to panic, for no good reason.
I need to be still!
Jesus had the answers. He captured the crowds. They always followed; were always curious or enthralled or needy. If Jesus were a computer, then there would be constant free downloads pouring out of him, with thousands standing in the queue to demand more.
The workload was great. The people were needy.
Jesus still chose to come away from the crowd. He came away from teaching and healing and giving – came away to the water, left the shore and the voices and went out to deep water, where the sky and the wind and the waves made space to breathe.
He had come away – but he was not alone. Jesus had left the crowd, but still had a lesson for one. There was a personalised miracle waiting – for one. Peter met Jesus. His life was about to change. Here was where the relationship began – and the trust and the friendship, the surety and the devotion.
Peter had seen Jesus speak to the crowd. He had been listening, forming opinions. Now he met Jesus close up and the word ‘Master’ turned into Lord quite quickly.
“Peter – take your boat out and put the nets down. Let’s have a catch!” Luke 5:4
There were plenty of reasons to ignore this request and only one reason for doing so!
“Well – because you say so…”
Peter did not know his life was about to change. He simply listened and chose to act on what he heard. Jesus had come away from the crowd but still had time for one. By the end of the day, Peter would know he was called and chosen, the past forgiven and himself wholly accepted. This was a moment of encounter just for him.
He also saw what would become a familiar scene – many crowds, and Jesus moving off to pray alone.
Stress! Panic! Pressure!
Withdraw. Spend time alone – in the place of refuge.