Currently I'm working my way steadily through the Gospel of Mark. Mark has a sense of immediacy about it, so reading it slowly doesn't quite fit the pace of the writing style, but it's not a problem. And pacey doesn't mean rushed, Mark does some very clever things in the text to allow time to pass.
The problem is that we don't always spot these little devices and maybe we miss the bigger picture and the connections that exist. Take today's reading, the feeding of the five thousand. We get so focused on the actual miracle and all of its implications that we forget where it starts.
The apostles gathered round Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.
The miracle that is about to unfold comes on the back of their recent experience of ministry. They had just come back from preaching, driving out demons and seeing people healed. But they couldn't make the connection between that experience and the current experience. None of the disciples asks Jesus to help them join up the dots and see how they could feed all these people based upon what they've just seen happening elsewhere. They just seem to revert to type.
They couldn't make the jump. Jesus had to walk them through this new situation and many more besides. We're no different. We struggle to apply faith lessons learnt in one situation to another. Jesus has to walk us through each new situation.
But the challenge still remains. Are we able and willing to make the jump in order to move forward in our daily discipleship. As I experience God's faithfulness in one area of my life, am I able to apply that elsewhere without having to start over.