18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee,(W) he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter(X) and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,”(Y) Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.(Z)
21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John.(AA) They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. Matthew 4: 18 -22 (NIV)
Territorial. Dogs, hummingbirds, and even Betta fish are very possessive about their little patch (or fishbowl). Men also, and particularly so on a holiday weekend. A brief encounter today reminded me to be humble when my impulse is to be a “Senior Chief”.
Arriving a little late this morning for our Saturday morning devotional and Men’s prayer time at Lake Murray, I saw the men gathered at our “usual” picnic table by the lake. There were some children’s bicycles chained to a post. Not one of our regular worshipers, I imagined. A gent hustled over to our small gathering from a camper parked several yards away.
“Hey, this is mine. I put my stuff here. It’s mine. You gotta move!”
“We’re not staying, Five minutes, tops”, Jeff replied.
“No. You gotta move. This is mine. I was here first.”
The fellow was not happy that we had Dexter and Comet with us. He had marked territory with his cooler and bicycles. We may have looked somewhat “sketchy” with our coffee mugs and Bibles. I said he had nothing to worry about, we are bringing a little Jesus here. We moved a couple yards over to a barbecue island. It didn’t stop Jeff from giving us a little reminder how Jesus called ordinary guys to leave their stuff behind and become fishers of men. Their lives were forever changed as was the world through spreading the Gospel.
Jesus always loves people no matter their circumstances nor response to His message. And we are, as his followers, to do the same toward others. Not to get testy nor argumentative on an early Saturday morning. I imagine Zebedee was probably a little testy that his sons left his fishing boat and nets to follow Jesus all those centuries ago.
Jesus tells us to shake the dust off our sandals wherever we go that folks are not welcoming (Matthew 10:14). Not “mine”, actually. Everything belongs to Jesus. Or perhaps that is why a couple dozen pigeons were wandering about ten feet from the table as we set off to walk and pray. “Theirs?”