Whale watching with Jesus
Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.”
“We’ll come, too,” [the disciples] said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night. — John 21:3
I’ve never been whale watching. My expectations of an industrial-looking boat chugging out over the big waters to find whales are pretty high. I don’t want to see a whale. I want to see a lot of whales. And I want them close. And I want them friendly. And I want the party pack to be very happy as they splash around the boat having mid-afternoon fun.
No, I don’t want to think about the pollution the fuel in the boat causes. I also don’t want to think about the possibility of a plastic bottle very accidently rolling into the water.
Rolling over the water, the disciples may have been in an industrial-looking boat. Unlike me, they didn’t want to just see a lot of fins splashing nearby. These guys wanted to catch fish.
It’s possible their arguing kept them from success. To this, I can almost hear some meaning-maker say, “And if Jesus had been with them, they would have had a bountiful catch before dusk.”
The point is transferable. If Jesus is with us, good things happen. Actually, really good things happen. Great things can happen, if fact.
I think back to the boat I have never been on, the one that, if I’m on it, may never encounter a single whale.
Or is it?
If I allow Jesus to be on the boat with me, maybe I am not supposed to see a whale. Maybe I am to think about fuel, plastic bottles, and why I’m out there seeking whales who, as nature should have it, may not enjoy the sound of a loud, churning motor.
PRAYER: Lord, I want to be in the boat with you, even if it’s only in my imagination. I want to see what you want to see, consider what you invite me to think about, and do what you want to do—like be an advocate for the whales I love. Amen.
Full disclosure: I am not against whale watching. I am suggesting that Jesus has messages for all of us, including the advocacy of those who make their home in the majesty of the waters.