Thursday, June 13, 2013

Breaking out of the Routine

And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.  –Luke 5:1-3 (KJV)

I admire my wife for many reasons, but one trait that continually amazes me is her ability to go to bed when she is tired and fall to sleep with little preparation.  On the other hand, I have a series of rituals I have to observe before I can relax and actually go to sleep.  No matter how tired I am, I cannot go to bed unless I have prepared the coffee pot for the next morning, and then flossed and brushed my teeth, in that order.  I like to sleep with my cell phone, glasses, and wristwatch on the nightstand.  I can fall asleep once these tasks are completed and these key items properly arranged.  At this point, you are probably thinking I am suffering from a severe case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  Do not worry, for this is the only time of day I adhere to such a seemingly odd routine. 

Speaking of routine, a man named Simon had his routine interrupted in a big way the day Jesus used one of his boats as an impromptu pulpit, with the shore serving as an amphitheater.  Simon too probably had a routine that involved mending nets, preparing fish for the market – provided they had caught any, and doing maintenance on the ships.  Have you ever been going about your routine and had it interrupted?  How did you feel about that?  Did you mind, or were you perturbed?  All we know about Simon is he allowed the Lord to sit in the boat and teach the people. 

After the teaching time, Jesus instructed Simon to have another go at fishing, which was a suggestion the man had a little trouble following due to the lack of success the previous night.  However, he was obedient, and the result was a catch unlike anything he or his partners had ever seen.  Simon then fell at Jesus’ feet with a cry of confession.  He said, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord (Luke 5:8).”  Obedience to Christ, when coupled with the power of grace in our lives, results in a renewed sense of God’s power and our unworthiness.  We too feel the need to fall prostrate before Christ with a similar confession.  “Lord, I am unworthy of such grace, love, and spiritual power.”

The Lord has a wonderful way of getting us on our feet in such circumstances and infusing strength and purpose into our lives.  For Simon, later called Peter, it was the promise of a new beginning.  “Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men (v10).”  Jesus Christ changed Simon’s routine forever, for his life had taken a wonderful turn from the mundane to the glorious depths of walking with Christ.

Do not fear allowing a closer walk with Christ alter your routine.  Let the Lord transform you into all He intends for you to be – a new creation filled with wonderful potential. 

God bless you today.