There is an old commercial where people are going about their daily lives and the stressors of the day, (work, bills, family urgencies, vehicle problems, inclement weather, etc.) all mount on top of one another until the noise and chaos bring the person to a breaking point, and they yell “Calgon, take me away!” The next scene is them in a delightful deep bathtub with bubbles, lit candles, a little jazz music playing in the background, and them serenely letting every care go away. Calgon was a powdered bath product and the slogan was genius. It is one of the most remembered ad slogans from the 80s and 90s. I would submit that at this point in history, in addition to the already listed troubles, we have the additions of: Afghanistan, Hurricane Ida hitting a storm-battered gulf coast, Covid, political and social tensions, and… Calgon, take us away!
The disciples struggled with several angsty moments, but the one that resonates with my bathtub example is when the disciples are in a boat with Jesus and there is a raging storm. The disciples are frantically trying to navigate the list of things included in “how not to sink in a severe storm”. All of the sudden, they remember Jesus. You know, the guy who has been healing crazy diseases, casting out demons, bringing a dead person to life, teaching about the power of God, teaching that He is the Son of God, so by proxy, possesses all of God’s power. When they locate Jesus, He is figuratively in the Calgon bathtub. He is so relaxed that He is sleeping! And He chastises them for not also being relaxed, knowing that Jesus was with them.
Now, in fairness to the disciples, they had seen Him have control over disease, and demons, and even death…but never nature (I guess 157 fish jumping into their fishing nets was too far off to parlay to a storm). So perhaps they were still a little unclear about the fact that EVERYTHING was under the authority of Jesus. That is until 5 minutes later when they were on a calm sea due to the fact that Jesus SPOKE to the storm! He told the storm to “CHILL OUT!” (OK, my interpretation), and it DID!
A couple of things I take away from this anecdote:
- I shouldn’t call on Jesus AFTER I have exhausted myself from fighting the storm without Him.
- He has authority over ALL. All means all.
- If I am to reflect on Jesus best, I need to be relaxed in life’s storms, KNOWING that He is in control.
Instead of “Calgon, take me away!”, my mantra should be more of “Jesus, take the wheel!” However, I should do this upon waking each morning, not after the storm is raging (see takeaway #1).
When we belong to Jesus, we bear the fruit of that relationship. There are 9 parts to this fruit that is listed in Galatians 5, but I will hone in on peace. When we have Jesus’s peace, it shows.
So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Cor 3:18
As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart. Prov 27:19
For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Matthew 12:34
To translate these verses into a catch-phrase, I’ll quote Mary Glynn Peeples,
“What’s down in the well, comes up in the bucket.”
People who don’t have the Jesus-peace that is pouring out of our buckets will wonder about it. They may mock us for it, or be angry at us because we have what they don’t, or they may ask us about it. When they ask, we are ON! GO! We get to tell them where we get that peace – and how they can have it, too.