The thing is, underneath it all, so often we’re not sure. Not sure who we are, not sure that we’re valuable, not sure where to place our feet in all this whirling world. Who am I? What on earth and I here for? What does it all mean? Questions as comfortably discomforting as old slippers, familiar, well trodden. Questions that lurk in the corridors of our minds ambushing us just when we begin to feel we’ve got it all figured out. There must be more than this… Is there more than this?
“From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’” Matthew 4:17
Jesus messes everything up. Let’s get that clear from the very beginning. When the real Jesus walks into our lives, the grit of Galilean dust fresh on the soles of His sandals and the light of eternal purpose in His eyes, well, He messes everything up. All our neat ideas of a rational, sensible life, a comfortable Sunday morning Christianity, a nice arms length separation between faith and life, religion and living, ideals and practice. Trashed. Totalled.
“As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.” Matthew 4:18
Simon and Andrew were fishermen. James and John were fishermen. It’s what they did. It’s what their fathers did, and (in traditional communities) most probably what their father’s father’s did before them. Life was organised, straightforward, easy. Their identities were stitched to their trades with unbreakable threads of familiarity. They were living through a story script given them by years, years of tradition, family expectation and culture. They knew each line by heart, lived each line by breath, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. Their script was them, they were their script. They were fishermen. End of story.