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?”





  1. I loved the film Finding Nemo. I thought the scene with the seagulls was very clever. In ave always remembered how Jesus spoke to his disciples when they fought over a coat. However dealing with an abuser for twenty years, i now say,,
    “This is mine” much more readily, i will fight those who come after my gifts ( and occasionally Earthly blessings ) now and they might leave with a few ‘feathers” missing. I The seagulls remind me of toxic people who try to claim everything good for themselves. These days I am learning to be an eagle who may one day be able to scatter the scavengers.
    I think increasingly we are being required to fight .
    I am much more inclined to fight for what is MINE nowadays. I realise that everything and everybody belongs to God but I have also learned that some things are worth fighting for.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. Like my spouse who gave me her insight: the gentleman had put his belongings there – how would we respond had the positions been reversed? Our little group may have assembled at that spot without thinking.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have learned I believe that one way to deal with toxic people, is to respond((not react) the minute they creep one millimeter onto your territory. In my experience it is best to deal with scavenging seagulls as soon as they cross the line. These days I like to think, my response would be “Touch what is mine and I will eat you as well as the crab.”Have you seen the film Big Eyes.
    It is about artist Margaret Keane, who has to prove that she painted the Big Eyes paintings? I really identified with her character.

    Liked by 1 person

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