"They were terrified, but Jesus said, "It is I, do not be afraid." John 6:19-20.
The disciples were frightened because of their belief that the sea was the home of the demons, and were worried that they were being attacked because they were with Jesus who had performed many miracles, even feeding 5,000 men, plus women and children. Their mistaken belief caused them to focus on the circumstance and not on Jesus.
Focusing on the circumstances, many will say that this summer is much better than last year. The weather has been more "summery" with less rain and warmer temperatures. However, in some ways, this has been a worse year than other years. More people took "vacations from worship", that is worship of the Lord Jesus. A survey of some congregations in the southeast suggests that church attendance is lower in many, that is, lower than most summers. Usually summer attendance is lower than the rest of the year, but this seems to be the lowest for many years.
One of the television shows advertised and shown during July was "The Church of Elvis". It seemed to suggest that Elvis was worshiped. One person stated that she had pictures of "God" (probably meaning Jesus), the Pope and Elvis. Another prayed to God and to Elvis. The priests of the church of Elvis were the impersonators or tribute artists. Could this be reminiscent of the people of Israel who put the idols of Baal in God's Temple? To glorify Elvis like this becomes worrisome. Will the next be Baptizing into the name of Elvis?
Lest we focus only on this one "idol", let us look at other circumstances which have prevented people from worshiping God. This summer has seen weather that took many to the lake on weekends, or for weeks at a time. Unfortunately, many did not take the time on Sunday to find a congregation in which to worship. Fishing, visiting with family and just relaxing took priority, and there was an avoidance of the spiritual. Rather than bring visitors to worship, people stayed away, being distracted by the lure that "just a few times will not matter." I wonder how marriages would respond to a spouse turning to another person "just a few times."? Are we not the body of Christ, and the Church His bride?
Other "churches" where people worship include: sports, "trips", recreational events, and the like. Whatever comes between us and worship of Jesus has become another "church" for us. One person said, "One new God is Chance and the temple is the Casino."
As we look at these and other "churches", it becomes obvious that the main God for many is "what I want." Which means that "I" make myself God. Ask what comes between you and our Lord Jesus, and another god is found. Avoid all of these and worship Jesus only.