After Jesus had dismissed the crowd, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came he was alone. Matthew 14:23 (NRSV)
Our Tuesday Men’s Group recently had a discussion about this scripture verse. Reading this again brings a memory of another one of my “S E E” (Significant Emotional Experience) moments.
It was 2:00PM on June 30th, 2012, and my boss, the CEO of our company invited me in to his office for an unscheduled meeting, and he promptly said “This is going to shock and surprise you Bob; but I have decided to terminate you effective immediately!” (He was right! – I was shocked, as I had never had a bad performance review nor had I been unethical, or breached a value in his company’s culture- it was his time to downsize and downsize 1 associate out of 150 associates and that was associate was me).
How would I share the news with Ann, my family and my friends? Had I let them down? Would we be OK? Why me? Etc…etc!
So I left the office in St. Paul and proceeded to drive home, very much alone, angry, disappointed and sad. I ended up in the church parking lot, parked down by the Community Garden, and went for a walk down to the church “Fire Circle” and sat alone at the base of the cross and prayed, cried, and listened to hear God’s words of wisdom. Maybe I would SEE or hear an indication of how to proceed forward without fear and worry of the unknown–I was hopeful.
As I sat there, I looked up at the blue sky and a movement caught my eye–there was a magnificent American Bald Eagle circling above and gliding on the wind currents above the Credit River valley. At that moment I felt the Holy Spirit gently calming my emotions and fears. I was alone with my God, and felt calmed and refreshed by the gentle breeze, the sun, and the sighting of one of God’s creatures and an American symbol of strength.
I left and did not feel alone, fearful, nor apprehensive about the future. It’s doubtful, had I headed straight home to face the uncertainty and fear that I was feeling, would I have noticed, seen, or heard anything that I described above.
God is with us all the time! Amen.