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Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.”

“We’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night.

At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?”

“No,” they replied.

Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it.

John 21:3-6.

I have fished off and on, admittedly in
sporadic bits, since I was very young. Truth be told, I really caught my first fish just a few months ago. It was a good one, and the experience was surprisingly exciting. I am preparing to go again soon for the first time since then, and hope for more success.

But this time is different. Someone is going to lead us to where the fish should be. They will even provide the bait. I expect to catch something. Significant outside interferences aside, I really should catch some fish this go round.

It takes patience to be a fisherman. Just try going out to buy a one day out of state license in a remote locale, sometime. It is a lesson in slowness, indeed.

Much like the passage about Jesus telling his disciples to keep fishing that morning two millennia ago, I am expected to do the same as a fisher of men. Jesus has provided the bait, and He has told me where the fish will be. But, I have to want to catch the fish, and I am the one who has to cast the line into the waters surrounding the vessel that is my life. If I do as He asks, just like Peter and the rest of the crew, the catch will be a plentiful one, no doubt.

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I cut myself shaving this morning.   It was a brand new blade, so I never actually felt the cut, but afterwards I could smell the blood.    They say that sharks can smell blood in the water from miles away and travel towards their prey.   It is a powerful aroma, indeed.

We are not big TV watchers in our home, but the wife and I love to watch NCIS.    There’s something about the Gibbs character, and the mystery plots, that draws us in despite sometimes weak and repetitive plots.   He sacrifices for his people.   He is always loyal.    And Gibbs has his “rules”, like “Never apologize; it’s a sign of weakness”.    I disagree.    Additionally, it seems that those people closest to Gibbs often end up dead.   Not a guy you necessarily want to hang around with, it would seem.

Disagreements can be mysterious things.    Anger can be a dangerous thing, as can be apologizing to others.    The “sharks” in your midst may smell blood in the water, but you have to venture out there regardless.    When I got in the car this morning, the old 80’s Asia tune “The Heat of the Moment” was playing on the car radio.     “It was the heat of the moment: telling me what your heart felt.   It was the heat of the moment.   It showed in your eyes.”

On this April 19 OKC Bombing Anniversary, we need to remember that bad blood, left to fester, can result in even worse decisions.    That is true in relationships, as well, no matter how small the issue may seem.

Someone of stronger character than the fictitious Gibbs has a few pointers for us, and his “blood and water moment” has saved us.

Luke 6:28-30  bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.  Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

 So, never be afraid to apologize.     And more importantly, never be afraid to forgive.    It’s a sign of true strength, and you may need it to fight off the sharks.

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