Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Like a Fish Out of Water (10/24/13)
TITLE: One of One Hundred Fifty Three
By Bonnie Rose Hudson
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Do you see those eight men sitting a couple of yards away? The big one’s name is Peter. He and I have spent a lot of time together in these waters. Those are his friends beside him—Thomas, John, and some others. But it’s the one in the middle I want you to take a good look at. His name is Jesus, and he’s the reason I’m here on the sand in this pile of fish. I used to think I belonged in the water, but I discovered I was wrong.
Now hold on—I know what you’re going to say. I’m crazy, thinking I belong anywhere but in the water. I am a fish after all, and everyone knows that fish can’t live for long if they don’t have water. But let me explain.
It all started about three years ago. I was swimming along, taunting Peter. He’d been trying to catch me all night, but I had evaded him. He was tired, and I was feeling rather pleased with myself. There was a crowd of people on the shore, and I was curious, so I followed him in when he went to wash his net. Jesus was teaching, and the people were crowding. He got into Peter’s boat and sat down to teach from there.
I had never heard such beautiful words. He talked about the kingdom of God and about being a part of it. He talked about a new way to live that seemed backward from what everyone was used to. He talked about a God who cared and knew everything there was to know—even about tiny sparrows.
When he was finished, he told Peter to put out into the deep water and let down his nets for a catch. Peter said, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
The boat headed for the deep water. That’s when I heard his voice. It was Jesus again, but this time, he was talking to me! All he said was, “Come.” And I came. I swam with all my might out into the deep water.
The next thing I knew, I was caught in Peter’s net with hundreds of others. I started to panic. I knew Jesus had called me to this spot, but suddenly, I didn’t want to be here. I looked around for a way out. The net began to tear; I found a hole and swam through it. I was free! But I was alone.
I’ve never regretted anything more than I have regretted turning back when I knew Jesus had called me to come. I waited for three years, watching for Peter and Jesus to return to fish, but I didn’t hear his call again. One time I saw Jesus actually walking on the water! I realized then what Peter and his friends were beginning to understand—Jesus was no ordinary man. He was the Lord of all creation. That’s why I had felt so alone since turning away; I had not stayed where the Lord had created me to be. He had a purpose for me that day in the boat, but I had turned away. I thought I would never get another chance to be with him.
Until last night. I was surprised to see Peter and his friends fishing. Jesus wasn’t with them, so I stayed out of sight. Early this morning, I heard the call again. “Come.” It was the Lord! And I came. I swam right for Peter, and he and his friends hauled me and one hundred and fifty two of my friends and neighbors to the shore.
That’s when I saw him. I don’t know why he has called me here, to this shore at this moment. It’s not where I thought I belonged. But it’s like Peter said, “Because you say so, I will.” The Lord knows more than I do, and even if it doesn’t make sense right now, I’ll gladly be a fish out of water as long as I’m with the Lord.
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