Today’s Passage: John 21
He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
Podcasts are one of those things in life that I know are great but just can’t get into them no matter how hard I try (like bananas).
However, a few weeks ago my pastor shared one with me that I have since listened to 5 times and shared with multiple camp staff. It was a 25-minute discussion on leading through times of transition which was incredibly convicting and grounding all at once. And that was all before the announcement was made about camps being cancelled, so it seems even more relevant now.
I’d love to share some of my reflections from it with you – but ultimately Terry Walling and Mark Sayers say it all much better than me! Check it out, it’s called “Rebuilders: Leading through crisis ep5”.
‘Without transition, we would be stuck’
We’ve all heard the throw-pillow sayings ‘life begins at the edge of your comfort zone’ or ‘you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain’ but when we look at John 21, we see a real living example of how to react in times of transition.
At the beginning of the chapter, in verse 3, Peter decides to go fishing. A normal thing for a fisherman to do right? Not a big deal? But here’s the thing, Peter was in a time of transition. Jesus had died, so Peter’s life of wandering around Israel had ended. Jesus had been raised to life, so Peter’s understanding of who He was and what it meant was had been transformed. Jesus had then disappeared, so Peter had no idea what to do with all of this information and life-changing revelation. He didn’t know what was ahead, so he decided to back – to go fishing. He didn’t know what was coming next, it was a sudden and drastic shift from what he had known, he was faced with uncertainty and lack of clarity and so he decided to go back to what he knew, to what was familiar. And what happened? Nothing. The disciples fished all night and didn’t even catch one fish (verse 3). It didn’t work. Because once we encounter Jesus and understand who He is, we can never go back, because we are never the same.
Peter didn’t know the way forward, but He did know who to follow.
In verse 4 Jesus shows up and in verse 6 He tells them to try again – which ends up filling their nets to the brim with fish. The difference between what the disciples had been doing all night and the one time they tried that actually worked, was Jesus. We do not always know the way forward, but we know who does. We may not know what lies ahead or what is around the corner, but we follow a Shepherd who promises to walk alongside us all the way into new pastures.
We could stay nice and fed where we are, but there would be no trust. We could live comfortably our whole lives, but we would be stuck. Terry Walling has a wonderful way of saying it: ‘Transitions take us to a place we do not know and build our trust’.
A Time of Transition
Looking at where we are in our own lives now, particularly in terms of camp, it is safe to say we are in a time of transition. All we have known and experienced up until now has been flipped upside down with isolation and the closure of camps due to Covid-19. We don’t know what lies ahead for Mini Yo We, but we do know Jesus. He is the prize, not the answers we seek from Him. He is the vision, the facilitator, the point. We know that with Jesus, there is no backwards. My prayer is that we as individuals and an organisation continue to lean into Jesus in this pandemic, rather than returning to what we know is comfortable and safe. He is the good Shepherd and He is leading us. Are we listening?
Grace and Peace,
A Digital Refresh is a regular series for the staff at Mini-Yo-We.
When we gather together for worship and learn from God’s word we call it “Refresh.” Even though we aren’t at camp we can still gather together to share God’s word through a Digital Refresh.
For more resources check out our summer staff resource page.