The newscast I was watching captured my attention about the challenges of life these days. I was immersed in thoughts about the war in Ukraine, a coup in Africa, political unrest in Washington, and threats from China. “What a mess,” I thought, as my phone—on vibrate—began to interrupt.

Oh, it’s my son, Jon”—who is also our pastor.

Hi, Jon, what’s up?”

Hey, Dad,” he replied, “I was wondering if you could preach for me a week from next Sunday.”

I made a quick thought journey through the next 10 days and concluded Jon’s reason for asking: The Thursday and Friday before that Sunday was the Global Leadership Summit. Both of us were registered for the local satellite site in a nearby city. I had two thoughts: “He is pretty good at planning ahead—but not too far ahead,” and “How do you say ‘no’ to your kid—and your pastor?”

Yeah, sure, I can do that,” I said. “What’s the text?”

I knew he was preaching through the Gospel of Mark. I also reflected privately, “He’s a really good preacher for his age. I’ll have to work hard to measure up.”

He replied, “It’s Mark 4:35-41, about Jesus calming the storm.”

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