Short Meditations in John 6: 16. Little things
Jn 6:16 When evening came his disciples went down to the lake
How can you meditate on something so simple and mundane as these ten words? But isn’t life made up of the simple and mundane? I wonder if we despise the ordinary and uninspiring, and yet isn’t so much of life made up of that? The disciples have just been part of an amazing revelation, of Jesus who could feed thousands from virtually nothing, and although they don’t know it at this moment, they are shortly going to get another staggering revelation of the Son of God.
But at the moment they are just walking down from the hills to the coast of the Sea of Galilee and are, no doubt, still full of what they have just witnessed. The present is mundane – walking – and they are so taken up with the recent past that they don’t suspect that they are about to get an even more mind-blowing experience of Jesus shortly.
But isn’t this just like you and me? As my wife says, you have to walk on the plain to get to the hills, again the mundane before the revelation. But of course life is such a mixture, she also added, you have to walk on the plain before you enter a valley. Mundane before difficult times!
And that is the thing about life, it is such a mixture of experiences, the ordinary, dramatic revelation, and unexpected crisis, and we just never know what is coming next. For us, the lovely truth is that Jesus is always with us (I will never leave you or forsake you – Heb 13:5) and yet, if we are honest, there are times when we don’t sense his presence, when it feels like we are on our own – just like the disciples at the moment, for as we will see in the next meditation, Jesus has sent them on, on their own, and that raises some questions we’ll look at tomorrow.
But in the mundane we don’t worry that we cannot sense Jesus’ presence, and that is a danger, that we just plug on in life, content with that state, until we find ourselves in a valley and are crying out for his help. Wisdom suggests that even in the mundane, even in the ordinary days of life, when nothing seems to be happening and our level of expectation of anything of import cropping up is zero, we still make the time and the effort to seek him, wait on him, call out to him.
So here we identify an area of potential danger in life – when all is going well, when we are just plodding along to the next appointment, the next thing on our calendar, with little or no expectation of anything of excitement, the danger is that we drift in our focus. Perhaps like the disciples here, we will be reliving the glories of yesterday, the great things that happened a while back, without realizing that our need of knowing Jesus in reality now, is just as important as any other time.