It is getting hot out there! Jodi and I decided to embark on our “Epic Eight Route” today. Knowing it was going to get rather warm, we opted to go a little early, before the sun really started cooking.
It has been a while since Jodi has stretched out for an 8 mile run, so I knew it was going to be a challenge for her—especially on legs that have not taken a day off of walking or running at least 3.1 miles for more than 380 days.
She did great. Mile 7 was a challenge for her, but she was able to find a new gear and keep going strong.
Daily Run: Jodi and I ran 8 miles in 1 hour and 15 minutes, which was an average pace of 9:22 per mile.
Daily Bible Reading: In the calling of the first disciples, we see five key character qualities in Simon Peter that I believe are quite commendable and worthy of applying to our own lives.
Let’s look at the passage in full, first:
On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.Luke 5:1–11, ESV
The first character quality that stands out to me is availability. Simon made himself available to be used by Jesus. His boat was on the shore, and Jesus got into it, asking Simon to put out a little from the land. It would have been easy for Simon to say, “Hey! What are you doing?! Get out of my boat! I have things to do. I’m hungry. I’m tired. I’m not going to let you use my boat to preach from.”
But we don’t see any of that. Instead, we see Simon making himself available to Jesus. Simon made his boat available for Jesus’ use, and then he made his schedule available to Jesus, sitting through an entire teaching while Jesus used his boat.
Are we making ourselves available to the LORD? Are we too busy? When He tries to get our attention, do we respond by saying, “Yes, LORD! I am available…”? Or do we say, “Not now, LORD, I’m kind of busy with my own things…”?
The second character quality is faithfulness. Simon was not just sitting around, doing nothing. He was a hard worker. By his own words, he told Jesus that he had been out all night fishing, which was his job, but he had caught nothing. That is faithfulness! It is one thing to be out all night having success. It is a completely other thing to be out all night with zero success. It would have been easy to just throw in the towel, call it a loss, and try again later. But not Simon. He was faithful. He stayed at it all night, even though he had nothing to show for it.
Are we being faithful with our time? With our relationships? With the work that the LORD has given us to do?
The third character quality I see here is teachability. This one is big. Remember that Jesus was a carpenter… what does a carpenter know about fishing? Simon, on the other hand, was a fisherman by trade. Still, Jesus (the carpenter) gives Simon (the fisherman) some fishing instructions, and Simon, amazingly, follows the instructions. He shows a tremendous amount of teachability in this exchange.
To make matters worse, Simon had already started cleaning his nets from being out on the water all night long. I know how I feel when I am cleaning something up and then someone asks me to get whatever I was cleaning back out… Not fun. But Simon Peter was willing to let all of his hard work of cleaning go to waste, because the Teacher was ready to teach, and the student was willing to learn.
Are we teachable like this? How would we respond to an interruption of our plans? Do we listen well with a teachable heart when someone tries to tell us how to do our job? Do we allow others to teach us new things? Especially in areas that we thought we already knew a lot about?
The fourth character quality that Simon Peter showed was enthusiasm. It seemed that Simon did more than just go through the motions. He appears to have put his whole heart into the job that Jesus had given him to do. Suddenly the nets were full, and he called to his partners to help. He was astonished by the miraculous catch.
Do we display this same level of enthusiasm about the things that the LORD calls us to do? Do we argue with Him and then finally, reluctantly do the thing we knew we should have done from the beginning? Do we just do it because we know it is the right thing to do? Or do we allow ourselves to be excited about serving the LORD in whatever capacity He calls us to? Are we astonished by the work of the LORD in and through our lives?
And finally, the fifth quality that Simon Peter displays is responsiveness. He responds to the miraculous catch by dropping to his knees and telling Jesus to depart from him because he is a sinful man. What a heartfelt response! Jesus then tells Simon to not be afraid, and tells him that from now on Simon will be fishing for men! Simon responds again by leaving everything behind and following Jesus.
Are we responsive? There is no question that God is at work in our lives. He is likely not asking us to drop physical nets into the water, but He is asking us to become fishers of men. The Holy Spirit is convicting us and commanding us. Are we responding?
Let’s put all of those qualities together:
God is looking for those who are AFTER more. What does He see in us? Does He see in us someone who is unavailable? Unfaithful? Unteachable? Apathetic? Unresponsive? Or does He see in us someone who is AFTER more?