In August 1986 I flew from Heathrow Airport in London to JFK in New York.
Before going any further, I should tell you about a quirk I have. I can't really sleep on a plane. I may take a brief nap, but that's about it. Given this fact, when we touched down on the East Coast I was tired. From JFK I took a bus traveling south through New Jersey until I reached my next destination, McGuire Air Force Base.
I only remember a few details about my time in New Jersey. It was hot and it was humid. And I did not sleep well at all again that night.
What was I doing at McGuire? My four-year enlistment in the USAF was coming to an end. McGuire was my "out-processing" base. This only took a day. From McGuire, I took another bus to the airport, in this case, Philadelphia.
I flew cross-country to see my twin brother, Brad. He was also about to finish his enlistment. Brad was stationed at Fairchild AFB, just outside Spokane, Washington. We were going to drive home together to Iowa.
After leaving Philadelphia, I didn't make it all the way to Spokane. I had a lay-over in Seattle. By the time that I arrived, I was exhausted, even dead-tired. I found a cab which took me to a nearby hotel.
When I tried to check in, the clerks gave me a funny look, then quickly added, "You don't know what's going on, do you? Vancouver is hosting the World's Fair. You won't find a hotel room for a hundred miles."
It was enough to make a grown man cry. I may even have had a tear on my cheek from sleep deprivation.
The clerks took pity on me. It was ten clock. They checked their reservation system to see if there were any cancellations.
There was. I quickly made my way to my room and passed out.
I think about my August 1986 experience every time I read from Mark 4
That day, when evening came, He said to His disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." Leaving the crowd behind, they took Him along, just as He was, in the boat. There were also other boats with Him.
A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.
Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.
The disciples woke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, don't You care if we drown?"
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!"
Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to His disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"
They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!"
As tired as I was by the time that I reached Seattle, I don't think I could have slept through a storm, out in the open, on the sea. But Jesus did.
Sometimes we forget just how human He really is.
Photo by Thom Milkovic on Unsplash