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Basketball & Boat Rides with Jesus

In fifth and sixth grade, I played basketball on our parish school CYO team. As one of the tallest girls, I almost always played center. My coach would remind my teammates and I before each game, “Focus. Keep your eye on the ball. Pay attention. Do not get distracted.”

While my short-lived basketball career has ended, I find I still struggle with getting distracted in other areas, particularly in the spiritual life, as I try to follow Jesus more deeply in my life.

In the Gospel today, we see what happens when distraction gets in the way and throws us off-course from following Jesus. Saint Peter had the best intentions when he swung his legs over the side of the boat and started walking. He felt the wind whipping at his sides, the waves splashing his face, or maybe thunder clapped so loudly that it made him hesitate. (Matthew 14:28-30) This much we know: Peter got distracted. In his distraction he focused on all that was going on around him which led him to take his focus off of Jesus bidding him to come.

Like Peter, we also get distracted. Peter’s distraction led him to doubt Jesus.

Are there situations in your own life where you doubt Jesus? That He won’t come through and provide, or your prayers will go unanswered? That maybe Jesus isn’t really faithful to you? Or maybe that He has forgotten you? Perhaps maybe you are afraid to trust Him and leave that situation or person in His hands to deal with?

Is there a situation or circumstance that leads you to doubt today? Pray with me throughout the day: “Oh Jesus I surrender myself to You, take care of everything.” Let us ease into the sweet surrender of His arms, He who can keep us safe and sound from the storms.

Let us ease into the sweet surrender of His arms, He who can keep us safe and sound from the storms. Click To Tweet

Can you write down a list of the biggest distractions from your prayer life? Look at the list and plan to make changes so you can form the habits of prayer and trust, and stay focused on Our Lord.

Patty Breen is a full-time lay minister who finds joy in running, strong cups of coffee, and all things Ignatian spirituality. A Midwest gal from the mitten state, she is constantly learning to find grace in all things. She is passionate about ministry to divorced Catholics and women whose relationships have been impacted by sexual addiction. Find out more about her here.

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