Jesus Caught me Fishin’

The life we live is not easily understood. There are many situations that we find ourselves in that we feel are too much to handle. Either they have pushed us into relationships, whether personal or work-related, that are too stressful and complex for us to deal with, or too emotionally charged to stay balanced for any length of time. Or there are events in our lives that are unexpected like the loss of employment, lack of employment, financial instability, serious illnesses or deaths and we are unprepared or unable to manage the consequences that result after they happen. It can be overwhelming; it can consume our every thought to the point of emotional and or psychological breakdown. None of us is immune to these very difficult circumstances or tragic events. However, there is a way that many of us cope with the feelings of fear, insecurity, and anger that we may give in to during the unwanted and unexpected situations of our lives.

We fall back on what we know how to do best as a coping mechanism. It seems like a good decision when things do not go our way because we can do them without as much trouble, and it makes us feel better about ourselves overall to do them. And we know that most of the things we do the best come naturally to us. And we get instant gratification from them and that may produce a quick dose of endorphins to ease our fears and insecurities for a brief time.

When I think of the scripture reading from John 21:1-19, it seems that is what Peter and the six other disciples were thinking of when Peter said, "I'm going fishing." And the other disciples said, "We're going with you." They may have felt that it was so much easier to get back to doing something that they knew how to do, something that made them feel productive and gave them a sense of routine and comfort in a time of great distress. It is a natural and normal response to think that way.

Yet, as you read John 21, there are several joyful and poignant events that occurred in this reading about the time after Jesus was crucified, died, and resurrected from the dead. Consider what happens at some point as we follow Jesus' teachings as the disciples did, and we are called to do something, or help someone, or work in some ministry that requires great faith, and certain skills and knowledge we will need to face very difficult circumstances that do not come naturally to us but are necessary to carry on as God has called us to. What do you think you will do in response to that calling?

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