Blog/CYM Blog

Arise and Shine (Mark 4:35-41)

I can still remember Sunday afternoons when my dad, exhausted after a long week of work, would be sitting on the couch, enjoying a football or baseball game. He just wanted to rest. I would come up, lay my head on his stomach, and say, “I’m bored.” Being the best dad in the world, he would reply, “What do you want to do?” and we would grab a kite or a baseball bat and ball and go to the park to play. Then he would go back to his couch and game and relax, and I would be content.

I have never been one to be still or quiet for very long. So today’s Gospel shouts directly to my mind, heart, ears, mouth and eyes. “Quiet! Be Still!” (Mark 4:39) I know Christ rebuked the wind and shouted this to the sea, but I felt Him shouting it at the disciples who woke Him from a nice little nap that he totally deserved after a long day. Telling parables is rough work.

“Quiet!” Christ commands us to quiet the storms surrounding us and recognize that He is in the boat with us, at the stern, guiding our journey.

Quiet our minds!

How many times do you restlessly stay awake at night thinking of the things you have to get done the next day? Do you go to a Holy Hour, and like me, take 30-40 minutes just to silence your mind to listen to the Lord? How many times do we listen to negative voices or hear a destructive soundtrack in our minds? When Christ yells, “Quiet!” he is commanding the storms in our head to be calmed and silenced.

Quiet our hearts!

The disciples ask a question that I think haunts so many of us in the world today, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38) Our hearts ask questions like this of God that our lips may never proclaim. Our damaged hearts have fears, wounds, and memories that need healing. “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” (Mark 4:40) Don’t let fear guide you, allow faith to lead the way.

Quiet our ears!

Even silence isn’t silent. There’s always a car passing by or a siren in the background. But, to be in nature, close your eyes, and allow the wind to paint a picture of the tree shading you is the best silence in the world. Turn off the television and radio and enter a church where you can hear a pew creak. Maybe then you can hear the voice of God.

Quiet our mouths!

Make sure there are no children around because I’m about to use the “S” word. Shut Up! I say this lovingly to myself, especially after being told I am the most talkative introvert someone knew. In order to hear AND understand one another, we need to be silent and listen. In prayer, we need to stop talking AT God and instead listen TO God.

Quiet our eyes!

We take in so much with our eyes. Pain, suffering, lustful images, violence, light, darkness, love and hatred. When we close our eyes, we can still see images dancing in the darkness. How can we silence the images shouting at us from the screens, magazines, traffic, and faces we see every day? How can we shut off the images speaking lies and temptation to our mind?

I think it starts with the second command…“Be Still!”

Sometimes, the only time I am still is when I’m in bed or at the chiropractor. Even at Mass I am fidgety and restless. We live in a world where being still is considered lazy.

This command to “Be Still!” is a challenge. MasterCard even reminds us that Americans don’t use 400 million vacation days a year. Seriously! “They’re paid vacation days!” Youth ministers, we are all guilty of this.

Take a vacation! Take your days off! For goodness sake, take a lunch break! Stop reaching for your cell phone to scroll through Facebook and Twitter. You are not missing out on anything but another baby picture posted by your best friend.

So, this is my recommendation for you today as a sister in ministry. Grab a blanket, go to a park, rest under an awesome tree, and look up at the sky or close your eyes. Don’t bring your phone with you to Instagram the moment. Just be still and quiet your heart, head, eyes, mouth, and ears. Recognize that Christ is in the boat with you. He is at the helm silencing the stormy sea. He knows you are not perishing because He has saved you already.


Image via FlickrCC 2.0, Logo added 

About the Author

Tricia Tembreull

Tricia Tembreull is a California girl with a Texas-size heart for hospitality. She said yes over twenty years ago to God’s call to youth ministry and never could’ve imagined the adventures and people He had planned for her to encounter along the way. She serves as a Parish Coach for Life Teen and joyfully travels around the globe training, empowering, and praying with youth ministers. When not on a plane, you can find Tricia in a church, spending time with family and friends, in the kitchen cooking up something delightful, or on the beach for an evening walk.

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