Ode to Simon Peter
In my mind’s eye, I’m just an ordinary guy.
The sun rises and sets, everyday I clean my nets.
Some days the fish bite early, on others I just go home surly.
Then along comes a man, who seems more than just a man.
He lifts me from from the pallor, He fills my life with color.
No longer satisfied, to move in and out with the tide,
I now reside, inside … the circle of this extraordinary man.
For years and years I got up early, went immediately to the shower, got dressed like a warrior to do battle in a suit. Routines were important. Routines kept me focused on the next task, so that when the tasks of the day were complete, I could sleep again. Rest again. It wasn’t always such a dreary life as to wish I had another. Moving from one career to another over time seemed natural and normal, ordinary. The routines all felt ordinary. The days, months, and years, now looking back, all seemed just so ordinary. It was what it was.
For a good part of that life I often found my nose pressed in one particular book called the Bible. Actually the Bible is a collection of 66 different books by almost as many authors. Taken as a whole it describes a great and extraordinary kind of love, demonstrated to all men and women, ordinary and great, regardless of race, color, or nationality. Having now spent the best part of my life studying, preaching and teaching from this collection of Books on God’s love, I find in myself an unusual sense of peace.
I don’t get up at the same time every day. I eat when I’m hungry, not on a predetermined schedule. Some days I don’t shave. Some weeks I don’t shave for several days in a row. This feels normal, ordinary even. I read, a lot. Having read for years in preparation for the next speaking opportunity, now my reading has expanded to other topics of interest. I’m investigating new technology gadgets, new recipes to try, and new training methods for my golf swing. For me, this is the new normal. Some days I’m content in this place, while other times I look back almost fondly, through a misty fog, on the rusty routines of a younger life as me.
The Ode to Simon Peter (above) came to me just this morning. The picture I’ve loaded is not by accident. Peter lived such an ordinary life before Jesus showed up one day while Peter and Andrew were cleaning their nets. On that day, their lives changed forever. Peter would never tell us today that his life after that day was ever ordinary. In fact, I suggest that Peter would tell us now, as he looks back on his life with the Master, that this one image is a perfect reflection of how his relationship with Jesus looked… every single day.
Jesus is in the saving business. Peter was just an ordinary man, an ordinary fisherman, who needed Jesus to provide, protect, lead, and yes, save him, every day. This my friends is the very definition of grace. We are all so ordinary. God is so extraordinary. His hand reaches out to us, and by His hand we are saved. I so readily identify with Peter in this way. I realize with ultimate clarity that my whole life past, has been about God’s saving grace, for an undeserving ordinary man, me. I have no illusions about my present, or my future. I’ll continue to be very ordinary. In this way, I will also continue to need Jesus offering His hand to save me. Yet, I will always be, what God called me to be, like He called Peter to be, a fisher of men.
“Follow Me”, Jesus told them, “and I will make you become fishers of men.”