Crayfish (Third Easter)

When Simon Peter realised it was the Master, he tucked in his garment, and jumped into the sea. The other disciples came in by boat for they weren’t far from land, a hundred yards or so, pulling along the net full of fish. When they got out of the boat, they saw a fire laid, with fish and bread cooking on it.
(John 21: 7 – 9)

When I was a kid there was a narrow, shallow, stagnant pond that ran for half a mile or so between two sets of railroad tracks near my home. In the summer we would spend hours at a time there trying to catch crayfish. How they got there, I’ll never know. They must have descended from crustaceans that populated the pond long before the railroads came through.

Our fishing methods weren’t sophisticated. We’d tie a hunk of baloney on the end of a string and drop it alluringly in front of a large rock, old discarded petrol can, or thick bunches of long weeds. Eventually the baloney would lure a hidden crayfish out into the open and its large claw would close on the meat in a vicelike grip, We could then yank our prize out of the water and into a waiting bucket. We’d watch it crawl around and around the bucket for a while and then release it.

Chasing crayfish taught us the habit of simply observing nature. It taught us to pay attention, to see what was there and what more might be there. There’s always more under the surface than first meets the eye. That was Jesus’ lesson to the apostles this week, when he invited them to cast their nets one more time after a disappointing night of fishing. They followed Jesus’ lead and hauled in an abundant vessel. Watch with great expectation, and your life will know abundance.

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