Calming the storm

While in Boston we took Chris on a Whale Watch from the New England Aquarium.  Our first sign should have been the gal who was really pushing getting Dramamine for the “gentle rolling 4 foot swells” we would encounter.

Leaving the calm of the Boston harbor very quickly we were bouncing and rolling towards the bank where the whales feed. I had suggested we go to the top deck to get the best place for photos. But the effect of the swell was greatest on the top deck and people began to leave there to go below.

The ship plowed through the incoming tide towards the shelf where the whales feed. And one by one people on the top deck began to go below. The vivacious naturalist ntghe cruise told us to look at the horizon as it helped keep seasickness at bay.

By the time we got to the place where we sighted three different kinds of whales and saw a number of porpoises Chris was not feeling well and Nancy and I were edgy. But being at the site we stopped looking at the horizon and were actively looking around the boat for signs of the wildlife we came to see. Despite sighting a fin whale, porpoises and a humpback whale the symptoms got worse. I finally had to go below and Nancy soon followed.

As we told Christ later, we went to see whales and we saw them – it was a success – we don’t have to mention feeling seasick. We even got pictures we can brag about like this one of a fin whale just below the surface.

On train coming back from Boston I thought about what it was in looking at the horizon that helped keep us from getting seasick. I think it was that the horizon didn’t move – it was stable, it was a constant we could focus on when the rest of the world was swinging and swaying. I also.recalled the disciples in the midst of the storm on the Galilee. When they focused on the wind and wave and storm they were afraid. When they focused on Jesus the storm within them, the fear and dread they felt, eased into a calm.

We need to remember that Jesus is our horizon – steady, unchanging, always there to help us see the larger picture. Always there to calm our inner storms – not taking awy the storms that rage externally but allowing us the inner calm to be able to navigate the storms and return. And often in that process have an adventure that opens up more of us and the world to allow us to experience God’s presence with us.

Don

About don

The Rev Don Hill is an Episcopal priest, rail fan and writer. He and his wife the Rev. Dr. Nancy Woodworth-Hill are currently Co-Pastors of St Paul's Episcopal Church, Jeffersonville IN, in the Diocese of Indianapolis. They also work as parish consultants in Appreciative Inquiry, strategic planning and spirituality development for parishes and vestries.
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