I remember the summer that I jumped out of a plane for the first time. It was a perfectly good plane, but my friend and I were so enamored with the idea of skydiving that we threw caution to the wind and ourselves into the wind too!
It was a complete adrenaline rush, and there was a beauty in the experience of floating down toward the earth, spread out below, that I have never forgotten. I remember thinking that this was a world too amazing to have come about by chance and could it be that there was an Artist who put it all together?
I also recall that we liked it so much that as soon as we landed the two of us jumped back in the plane like kids calling out, “Again, again!”
It’s not often that we forget those “marker” experiences that take place in our lives. They are forever engraved in our memories.
When I read the Bible and the true stories that the writers have recorded, I often find my mind imagining what it might have been like to be in the midst of the action.
Recently I did this while reading what Mark wrote in his gospel about the night the disciples found themselves in a boat in the middle of a lake as a furious squall came up. I imagined the adrenaline starting to follow as the waves increased in size and then began to brake over the sides of the boat, nearly swamping it. In the midst of what must have been chaos, we learn that Jesus is also in the boat, but he is curled up on a cushion sleeping. Peace in the midst of chaos. The story continues that Jesus is awoken by the disciples who are panicking at this point and fearing for their lives. His response is to yell out into the storm, calling for it to stop — and it does.
Mark concludes the story by saying that the followers are terrified at the realization of Jesus’ authority and power, asking, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
As I meet people, talk with people and listen to their stories, I find most have memories of some type of experience with God. I call these “spiritual markers” in their life. Often these are times when we prayed out to God in the midst of trouble; maybe not even sure He existed and yet they felt a peace in the midst of chaos.
Join me today in taking some time to think back on those spiritual markers in your own life. Perhaps allow them to lead you to consider the question that the disciples asked: “Who is this Jesus” and could it be that he is that he is interested in me?
Dan King is a pastor to youth and young adults at Parksville Baptist Church. E-mail: