February 14, 2021 Daily Devotion

The reading is from Mark 9:2-6:

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3 and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. 4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 5 Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 6 He did not know what to say, for they were terrified.

When I was in first grade, I had a friend named Alfonso. Alfonso was an adventurous sort, and I was on the other end of the spectrum. One day, shortly after I learned to ride my bike (ok so I was still learning), Alfonso convinced me to ride our bikes down the hill behind our apartments. I was full of excitement and laughter as we pushed our bikes up on top of the hill.

Then I got on my bike. As I looked down the hill I was scared. No, I was terrified. I wanted to jump off my bike and just go home. For what seemed like minutes I just sat there, petrified. Alfonso took off down the hill in a blur of speed and screams of joy. I waited. And waited. I was too scared to move. Then Alfonso called up to me: 'Come on down! It's awesome!" And I rolled forward a couple of feet and gravity took over. My face was the picture of terror and my heart was racing.

Eventually I came to a stop at the bottom. I was filled with exhilaration and terror at the same moment. But I did it. (Note: Later attempts resulted in me in the bushes at the base of the hill which my parents STILL remind me of to this day).

As the disciples stood with Jesus, the one who overcame death and the grave, they were still terrified. But I don't think this is a bad thing. We live in a world where we seek to stamp out every bit of the unknown and chance. We play it safe so we can feel comfortable. I say we need more terror in our lives; more of those moments where we but things to chance and let God have control. We need to be present in the wilderness of the moment and trust in God's plan and love for us.

Dear Father, help us to stop worrying, planning, and seeking to control it all. Let us embrace the moments of wonder so that we can experience You. Amen.

Chad Ryberg cryberg@livinglord.org

Prayer Concerns: For those who lock themselves away from joy for the sake of comfort.

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