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  • Writer's picturehschoenfield

"Find the Balance Within"

Mark 4:35-41

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion, and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And waking up, he rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Be silent! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 

National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America


“Find the balance within…”

These words struck me last night, as I scrolled through my Facebook feed. A friend had posted a haiku that started with this line and went on to invite trust for what comes and goes in life.

These words landed deeply for me. Over the last several months, as I have been transitioning from full-time work in congregational settings to full-time work in spiritual direction, teaching, and coaching, I have been working on an inner posture of trusting, allowing… finding the balance within.

In a way, that’s how I read this week’s Gospel text.

Now for context, this is the beginning of Jesus’ public teaching and healing in Mark. The primary message about the “Kingdom of God” has been repeated over and over. There have been parables, many healing stories, run-ins with the religious “authorities” of the day, as well as Jesus’ real authority being recognized by the disciples, crowds, even by evil spirits. A lot has happened already.

And Jesus’ early disciples have witnessed it all. They’ve even gotten inside explanations, according to Mark 4:34 – the verse that comes right before this. (With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to hear it;  he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.”)

Still…everything in the worldview of those who encountered Jesus was shifting – a new sense was being called forth. “Put on a larger mind,” Jesus says.

“Find the balance within.”

So the storm makes sense in this passage, because storms come up in life – especially in times of change and transition. And no matter if the storm that rose up in the text was external, internal, or both, we can all relate to the storms that come up.

Where do we return to? How can we come back to presence in these moments – and find our way home again?

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