Denial Is More Than A River Somewhere
Today the Gospel is about Jesus foretelling that Peter would deny him three times, and of course Peter is insulted, deny Christ, he loves Christ, pish posh, deny Him! Of course, he then does exactly that, is then very sorry, but Jesus was right in His foreseeing this. Why did Jesus see it? How come Peter didn’t see it coming?
Jesus saw the signs with Peter, in that he throws himself overboard, initially has faith, then fear hits him like a tidal wave, and he sinks. Jesus knew this was his pattern, so why deny what was obvious, that was the pattern. What about Peter, why didn’t he see that he would do that, why not? Peter was not on the outside looking in, so Peter was not seeing his own patterns, his own issues etc.. Isn’t life like that often for us? We see there is a problem that needs addressing, confronting, not in a harmful way to anyone necessarily, but does need dealing with, or even our own feelings about a loss, a change in our lives that came suddenly, but we have a pattern of denial, of going straight to that river in the Nile, Denial. We think if we just ignore, it will disappear, poof, magic wand, disappear, that includes our own negative behavior that others might try to lovingly point out. I myself have inclination to be very vocal, passionate about what I believe in and for, but sometimes I can be so blunt, and it offends, it can hurt, but I can’t see the pattern myself, as I am simply as I see it, speaking the truth of my faith, my worldview etc…, so others have to point it out. Does that mean I can change that pattern overnight? No, that’s part of who I am, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t pay attention to that tendency and address it, shift it. This kind of denial happens now even in the Church itself, where it is trying to appease the public to fill seats, and denying scriptural moral truth etc…, and it happens in relationships where for example one kid, the middle child often is kind of put aside and the baby of the family is coddled and given every preference, thus creating friction. The parent may not even realize they are playing straight up favorites and creating tension, resentment etc.., same goes with educators, and others in leadership. Even if at some point soon they realize they have this preference pattern, they may just pretend that is not true, they are fair and treat everyone equally, how dare anyone say they play favorites! Finances, that is one area often of being in that River Nile way too often and wreaking havoc on the person and those they love, same with addiction, relationship problems.
See, Jesus was on the outside looking in and was very prayerful, so the Holy Spirit was able to give him clarity in so many ways, but the Apostles, were on the inside looking in, so seeing their own pattern was not likely to happen at that time, and that recognition that we have a small problem here and we need to deal with it now before the hill becomes this huge mountain, harder to climb, doesn’t come easy. Sometimes if we are lucky it comes early on and we get out of The Nile, other times, not until we are drowning and nearly gone metaphorically speaking or literally sometimes that we see the patterns etc.. and deal with them in real time. Hopefully we don’t live in that river most of the time, we live there rarely or not at all, hopefully.
Namaste, Shalom and Amen