Catchy phrase – ‘caught by a thought.’ Kinda appropriate for Roses in the Rubble regular visage since I like (& share!) quotes so much. And today, with the Gospel reading about Peter & John FISHING (& not catching anything, at first) ’tis even MORE appropriate (in a pun-nish way – caught? thought?) : )
I always like contemplating this Gospel reading in John (chapter 21) especially when struggling with discernment issues. The context: after the Crucifixion, Peter & John go back to the Zebedee Fishing Corporation (what they did before) but don’t catch any fish. All night long – NO FISH. Then Jesus appears on the shore & challenges them to cast their nets ‘on the other side.’ When they do, BINGO. A huge catch (Overflowing Nets.)
Application? Think Outside the Box. Try casting our nets into different waters (not the same same we keep going to.) What worked before might not be where we’re catching anything, so we need to try Something New (like the mice in ‘Who Moved My Cheese.‘)
So I like this idea, as it’s kinda cool to think outside the box (& since my best friend told me in High School that I was ‘weird.’ In a nice way, like “Ginny, you follow the beat of a different drummer.”) Operating ‘outside of the box’ has been kinda normal for me (the only Relief & Development Worker in my MBA grad school class & all that…)
But today, after Msgr. Timothy Keeney kicked our spiritual butts at church, my liking of this passage has undergone a transformation into deeper appreciation of the applicable implications. (Maybe I don’t like it so much, so much.) : )
Msgr. Timothy said, “Jesus wants us to get out of our comfort zones, but we like what’s comfortable vs. venturing out into the deeper water (what’s on the right side of the boat to shore, where the fish usually don’t hang out if you’re into fishing.) We have to let Christ keep changing us.”
OK, so I’ve ventured out of what’s ‘comfortable.’ (Dodging bullets in conflict zones & traipsing around malaria infested developing zones certainly qualify.) BUT, (here’s the spiritual-butt-kicker), we must KEEP LETTING Christ push us out of our comfort zones into the deeper water (spiritually.) Like, this is a life-long process & EVERY ASSIGNMENT is a chance for God to change us SOME MORE.
The key here is the scary word CHANGE. Not just ‘change our jobs’ or ‘change careers,’ but CHANGE OURSELVES, ie, let God change us. But we need to open our eyes & ears & hearts & minds & spirits to let go & let God do a New Thing. That might, gasp, change how we do what we do, why we do it, & (possibly) what we do.
You can’t just say, ‘Been there. Done that. Tick.’ Faith is a process. A Journey. Where we are, God may have lots to teach us (& possibly lots to change within us) to mold us into a Brighter Light (& better fisher-persons) for His Kingdom.
Ok, so in the past I did lots of fervent on-my-knees praying for huge proposals that impacted whole countries malaria-wise (or for HIV/AIDS or water or agriculture or refugees or what what) that Seemed Very Important to Make A Big Difference in millions of lives (the saving of.) God is good (all the time) & many lives were/are being saved.
…Coming home to help my parents, however, I’ve learned that even more on-the-knees prayer is needed because how I do what I do matters to God. Mopping the kitchen floor does not seem terribly important in the Grand Scheme of life & faith & well, stuff. But, methinks it does matter (to God) that the floor be mopped. Joyfully (preferred method indicative of Heavenly Assistance) and WITH love. IN love. FOR love. BY love.
This is (indeed) Hard To Do (the joyful love bits, especially after little sleep?!) Or when emotions get whacked (especially after little sleep) & we say to God, “but I’m just a Nothing Nobody!”
… God’s reply: “YOU ARE A SOMETHING SOMEBODY.”
Caught by a thought: We are Something Somebodies, Precious Ones, Beloved of God. Despite where we’ve been, or what we’ve done, or what we now do — God still has lots of somethings for us outside what & where & how we’re comfortable (with lots of Heavenly Help, methinks, heading out into Deep Waters ’tis possible to do!)
grace, peace & Change* (hearts open to)
Virginia : )
*even ‘Radical Change’ (as mentioned by Msgr. Timothy this a.m.)