Visiting restaurants was a rarity in the small town of my youth, a luxury for n random Sundays when the faithful would gather at “the local spot” and discuss which preacher was long winded based on the last congregation to arrive. Of course, this was limited during football season and pastors knew better than to get preachy when the Cowboys played the early game.
This particular Friday, I searched for a place to break the routine, outside of the norm. Passing closed signs on long-standing businesses who had succumbed to the pandemic, I happened upon a place that harbors memories of my younger days, vivid images of meeting my father for lunch. The bright exterior had been replaced by even brighter shades of enchilada reds, checkerboard tiles changed to Saltillo clay and burgers on the grill gave way to a wonderful plate of Mexican food, as if Abuelita herself was in the kitchen.
Settling in with thoughts of my father in the corner booth, certain “dad-isms” came to mind. “Work smarter not harder” or sometimes “Grab a shovel, this job needs a weak mind and strong back.” Recently interring my mother’s ashes required a posthole digger to work through the rocks, hard clay, and ultimately a large oak root that rattled my inner being. I could hear Dad chuckle from his adjacent resting place.
I began to recall times we spent together and those we did not, mostly when I was too “busy” to go fishing. I truly regretted the missed opportunities with the realization that fishing was not always about catching fish. There is wisdom in a properly tied lure or in baiting a hook, to sit still and be quiet as “to not scare the fish away.” Stop talking, stop doing, and just listen, even if only crickets. I expect Jesus’ call for Peter to leave his nets was similar; stop doing and listen.
I often think about Peter, on that Saturday after Jesus’ crucifixion. He didn’t know. He had denied his greatest friend three times, heard the rooster crow as Jesus looked his way. He watched our Savior die. Nothing made sense. Sunday morning when he stepped into an empty tomb, he still didn’t know, until Jesus reappeared and everything He had said came back and made sense; talk about “Dad-isms.”
Because of that horrid Friday and the following Glorious Sunday, I’ll get the chance to take dad fishing again, on
“a sea of glass, clear as crystal.” Revelation 4:6 NIV
Perhaps Peter will come along and show us the ropes and Jesus will sit in the boat and tell us stories. We will stop doing, sit still … and listen.
If these words have touched your heart, reach out to me at John@LiftedKeys.com and continue the conversation. I would love to know where and in what way God has guided His words through my pen.