Thursday, April 19, 2007

Break on through to the other side

The story in John 21:1-19, reminds me of a fishing adventure my brother-in-law went on off the coast of Cape Town. He was fishing for Yellowfin Tuna on the one side of the boat whilst another tourist was swimming behind the boat in the hope of becoming one with the sharks. Some people I will never understand. Similarly, the disciples are catching fish on the one side of the boat whilst Peter is going for a swim on the other. Not something one would ordinarily do. There is no walking on water, Peter just jumps into the “sea.” I also find it quite amusing. Peter puts his clothes on before he swims, usually we take our clothes off before we swim. What is also of interest is that these seasoned fishermen are prepared to listen to a strangers voice giving them instruction. I don’t think I would too readily listen to somebody I did not recognize hollowing instructions from the sideline. I remember fishing for bass in a small dam in the Drakensburg when a man walked by and started giving me endless instructions on how I should be fishing. My response was not to go and have breakfast with the guy. I wanted to rather hit him over the head with my fishing rod. These dispirited disciples are prepared to change course and direction with just the slightest whisper of a chance of catching fish. We can read our bibles and go over the same verses for years without the slightest hint of changing our course of direction. These disciples were prepared to change their long learned habits and try another approach. Maybe they had fished that side and had caught nothing? How many times do we hear the cliché, ‘but we have tried that before and it didn’t work.’ Maybe it was not the time to fish that side yet. They would do the other side only once they had fished this side for half an hour. How often are we so caught up in our routines of things that we miss out on life because it was not the time to do it. I was talking to my sister the other day and I was impressed to here her say, “when my teenage daughter’s want to talk to me, I drop everything I am doing and listen. At times it is very frustrating, they want to talk at the most inconvenient moments, but our relationship and their future is of utmost importance.” Routines are life-giving and life-destroying. They keep our life from falling apart, help us steadily work towards goals, but if not checked and made flexible, can rob us of opportunities that capture new forms life.

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