It’s difficult to follow in the steps of someone who walked on water! The best I can do is to take to my canoe!
On a summer’s evening I slipped it into the water and went with the flow. Biblical references bubbled up in my mind – “The river of God is full of water” (Psalm 96); Ezekiel’s vision of a flood of water flowing from the temple bringing life to the desert and Dead Sea (Ezekiel 47); Jesus’ baptism, his Galilee ministry and the promise of streams of living water springing up to eternal life. Birdsong filled the air, I was intoxicated by the beauty around me and my attention was focused slightly beyond, hoping to catch a glimpse of the mystery – of the Lord who walked in the cool of the evening !
My reverie was broken by passing boats. A hire cruiser pushed up river towards conviviality, food, drink and warm welcome that awaited at Coltishall’s Rising Sun. In the opposite direction, a late day boat hurried back to Wroxham. Unfairly, a bit of me felt quite indignant! Did they not appreciate the calm and beauty? I thought not!
But, as the thump of diesel engines faded in the distance and calm returned, I remembered the countless occasions I rush past and rush on! What a fool I am! DoI not know that there is a pearl of great price waiting to be found?! “ In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” (Isaiah 30.15)
The boats’ wake and my anger quickly dispersed and calm settled back on the river and my heart. Around me creation sang and a blackbird added a descant to the evening hymn. I found myself praying in the words of a Churches Together on the Broads prayer
O Lord you moved on the waters of creation Establishing calm over chaos. May these waters of Broadland refresh the spirits Of those who sail on them. May this landscape call to mind your son’s ministry in Galilee. And may we show forth your love to those who seek Your peace and presence here. Amen.