One of the ‘american phenomenon’s’ is what happens when we are driving along and there is an accident up ahead. Rather than just ‘passing by’ we slow down to a crawl…not for safety but so we can rubber-neck and find out what happened. More accidents are caused from this phenomenon that just about anything else.
Strangely, in this life, it seems we tend to stop and look at things when we should actually just keep moving. Likewise, we tend to ‘pass on by’ things that are worthy of our attention. Our Bible text this week is an event worthy of noticing rather than flying by and I’m thank that this how it begins:
As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” (Mark 11:20-25 ESV)
Earlier in the text, Jesus had cursed that tree that it would bear no fruit. Now, as the group walks past, it appears that Jesus wouldn’t stop but at least one of the disciples notices the power of God in this miracle and stops to exclaim it.
If Peter hadn’t mentioned it, then they would have ‘passed by’ without stopping to give honor to God at the fulfillment of His Word.
As we start this new week, I am motivated to pay closer attention along the way and to not ‘pass by’ what God is doing. We can do that because we are distracted or moving to fast or even because we don’t want to see. Let’s open our eyes and ears and see how God is at work today!