Thursday, January 12, 2012

Called by God

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” John 1:43-51 b

There is a beach entrance near us that is completely hidden by trees. One can feel totally alone while approaching the beach, except for a weekend maybe in the height of the summer. Walking up the path the tree tops touch and bring a cool cover on a blistering day. In the winter, the trees provide cover from the fierce winds and a hiding place out of the intense bitter cold. It has been one of my favorite walks for most of my life. Walking a long the path has always made me reflective and still, a deep breath kind of place in the middle of a frantic day.

Nathanael thought he was all alone with his thoughts and dreaming. His friend Philip roused him from a soft, reflective moment, where he was enjoying the mottled light under the tree, and the cool breezes that came his way. The shade was very limited at that time of day and he was enjoying his private revelry, his imaginings and fantasies. He thought himself alone but God found him even there. When Jesus talked to him, he was amazed that he had seen him under the tree, and was probably a little frightened that, despite thinking he was alone, he had been seen. This event made Nathanael a believer. And Jesus say to us who believe, even when we do not experience phenomenal events, we are blessed. On a day like today, it is good to know that we are blessed, In the midst of our struggles and trials God is with us, despite it all.

Today, I ask God to help me trust that I am never alone, despite challenges too numerous to mention, sighs too deep for words, and all the other hurdles we face. May we rejoice in being known and being seen, and being loved in every moment. May our inward and outward thoughts be love this day, knowing that God abides with us in everything we do and say.

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