You may have felt that awkward, peculiar twinge when you are about to have a hard conversation. I typically start to feel cold, and the center of my abdomen seems to be attempting a full retreat and seeking shelter behind my spine.
I don't know about you, but most of the time this feeling doesn't come from what I have to say. I've rehearsed it several times, I know where I'm headed and what I need to put on the table.
The fear comes from not knowing - not knowing what response we'll receive, if any, and not knowing how we'll need to respond to that response. We're afraid of what we don't and can't see coming.
Reading this morning in Mark 9:32 where the disciples hear Jesus announce that not only will He be arrested but He will also be crucified and then - in an unprecedented event in human history - he will rise again from the dead. Their response?
But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him. (NRSV)
They didn't get it.
They may not have been capable of getting it.
Frankly, they seemed afraid of any clarification that might come afterward.
Let's have some compassion on them - based on Jesus' announcement, could it really get any better after that?
I wonder if sometimes we don't approach our path of following Jesus the same way. We get challenged, we get pushed in some area of our life where the Holy Spirit is longing to annex important real estate in our hearts and souls for the Kingdom of God, and we hear the call but don't seek clarification.
We don't get it and frankly we're not sure we even want to get it.
But what do we lose?
We can end up sacrificing the good and beautiful life that God is birthing in us, through our following Jesus Christ, by sacrificing His call to follow on the altar of our own lack of understanding.
May our prayer today be that God would call out the deepest part of us and we would respond: "Tell me more about that. What do you mean?"