Prayer is a choice. For us to pray…shows that we are choosing to leave an opening in our spirits. Without this opening, there is no vessel, no place into which God can breathe.
- Joanna Laufer
The Gospel reading on Sunday began, “One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him...” (Luke 5:1-12) It had been a rough weekend, one in which I had needy kids at every turn, and I was suddenly, desperately interested in knowing how Jesus handled the press of the crowd.
Of course he saw two boats (which I knew) and got in one (which I knew) and “put out a little from shore” (which I knew). And then the thing I knew-but-didn’t-know hit me: That bit of water put Jesus in a different position. It gave him a different perspective on the crowd. It allowed him to do what he was there to do, because he had enough distance to be heard and seen instead of crushed. And it was only then that “he sat down and taught the people from the boat.”
Sometimes I lack the perspective to respond well to others because I’m too close. Sometimes I need to say, “Y’know, the best thing to do right now is to put out a little from shore.” When life is stressful, placing even five minutes between myself and my responses to difficult situations makes a huge difference. That bit of distance allows for a different perspective, one which can be measured in my ability and willingness to listen to—and follow—the teaching of Christ.
Julia Attaway is a freelance writer, homeschooler and mother of five. She is the editor of Daily Guideposts: Your First Year of Motherhood, a book of devotions for first-time moms. She lives in New York.