"I'm going fishinig," Simon Peter said to them. We're coming with you," they told him. They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. When daybreak came, Jesus stood on the shore . . ." John 21:3-4 (HSCB)
I've had a five month sabbatical from writing. No, from blogging. I've missed it and I've been convicted of not making good use of this marvelous tool. I feel like I think Peter felt after the death, resurrection, and first couple of appearances of Jesus. The busyness around my work schedule, a change in my personal life, the responsibility of a new church plant, fighting fires . . . some, if not most of you have been there. Something had to give and for me, the blogging was the first thing to go. Then I began to cut back on my reading. Like Peter, after all the excitement of what God has been doing around me and for me, I went back to fishing, so to speak.
Everything I did from daylight to dark focused on some form of work. Sermon prep, visitation, committee/team meetings, WMU, Men's Ministries, weddings, funerals, chaplaincy calls. When the enthusiasm wanes into routine, it's easy to fall back into a rut . . . like fishing.
Do you remember what Simon Peter was doing when Jesus FIRST called him? Go back to Luke 5 and check it out. It was the middle of the day and Jesus told him to go out into the deep water and put out the net for a catch of fish. This was the WAY it was done, this was not WHEN, this was not WHERE it was done. Simon reluctantly obeyed and a miracle occurred. So many fish were in the net that the boat began to sink. Simon called for his partners, whose boat also began to sink. It was at that moment, in that sinking boat, that Simon's perception of Who Jesus was changed. He simply bowed and said, "Go away from me, for I am a sinful man, Lord." Jesus said, 'Don't be afraid. From now on, you will be catching people."
Even in the aftermath of spiritual pinnacles, we can, like Simon Peter, fall back into the rut. "I'm going fishing!" And so, once again, Jesus comes to lovingly confront Peter with his initial call -- "Follow Me and I will make you to become fishers of men." Matthew 4:19 The miracle of John 21 was very much like the miracle of Luke 5. And the result was the same. There was the issuing of call. In John 21:22, Jesus said to Peter, "If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? As for you, you follow me!"
In the quiet of my little fishing boat (or more likely my office when no one is around), Jesus came again. This time, he re-issued my call with great patience and encouragement. And he said, "Don't settle for the rut. Feed my little ones. Take care of my sheep. Nourish my growing ones. Don't worry about what I've called others to do. YOU FOLLOW ME!"
Okay, Lord! It's like deja vu all over again. Thanks for the reminder and for pulling me out the rut!