Welcome to the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time. There are times when life seems to run by at breakneck speed, and others where it simply slows down to an agonizing crawl. The beginning of 2019 seems that breakneck speed, sheesh slow down a little bit please.
Bishop Robert Barron shared this on facebook this morning:
Friends, today’s Gospel gives us the story of the miraculous draught of fishes. In many ways, the whole of the spiritual life can be read off of this piece.
Without being invited, Jesus simply gets into the fisherman’s boat. This is to insinuate himself in the most direct way into Simon’s life. And without further ado, he begins to give orders, first asking Simon to put out from the shore and then to go out into the deep. This represents the invasion of grace. The single most important decision that you will ever make is this: Will you cooperate with Jesus once he decides to get into your boat?
In many ways, everything else in your life is secondary, is commentary. When the Lord Jesus Christ gets into your boat, he will always lead you to the depths. “Duc in altum,” as St. John Paul II loved to quote. More dangerous? Yes. More exciting? Yes.
Now, mind you, the depths we’re talking about here are spiritual depths. The excitement we’re talking about is the true excitement that comes from spiritual transformation. The depths have nothing to do with what the world considers important or exciting.
Over the last few weeks as I travel there is a deep sense of wanting, and needing to look at things from the perspective of the other. There are reason why this particular want/need is demanding some attention. While this matters deeply to me, one thing I’m learning and seeing is that this desire for a different perspective isn’t something that can be foisted on, or demanded of anyone else. I am seeing that I need to adjust my sights more and simply be patient and trust.
Over the years I’ve never thought of Jesus as particularly pushy. So this reflection of Bishop Barron’s is wildly insightful. This is the second Gospel story where the perspective shift has happened, the first being the Wedding Feast at Cana. I once thought of this as, and have spoken of this miracle as “booze for the boys”. Now I see it as “bringing LIFE to the party” or more to the point bringing LIFE. And now with Jesus just stepping into the Fisherman’s boat and telling him to cast his nets in the other direction. Peter does what Jesus’ asks. He didn’t have to. Peter could have responded with, “Dude get out of my boat!” But he didn’t
As an aside there is something about the Bishop starting posts, podcasts and videos with, “Friends” followed by whatever teaching is coming that draws me in, inviting me to listen and deeper conversion (I hope).
Sometimes as quilters we need a perspective shift. I’m not a “get outside your box” kind of quilter, I’m more a “let’s look at the other things in the box” or “get a bigger box” kind of quilter. By looking at the other things in our box, or moving to a bigger box we get to have that perspective shift. Because we’re pausing to think and look, and see what inspires us, or see how we can use the fabrics, and notions we love so much very differently. Sometimes I need to ask other quilters what they see in my box because I’m sitting in my studio surrounded by all the stuff and I can’t see it. It is this asking which changes how we see the stuff.
When I made “Split Complimenterity” my original plan was to add very wide orange borders and be done with it. When I took it to my guild two friends said I’d be phoning it in on a quilt that has this amount of work in it. They gave me the border giving the entire quilt much more personality and using more of the fabric from the quilt. They were right about both the design, and calling me to MORE with the quilt. This perspective shift made me think about how I make all my quilts.
This still leaves me wondering what is my next perspective shift and how will I respond to it? Will I, like Peter, cast my nets to the other side of the boat, or will I say, “Dude get out of my boat!” to Jesus, or to the quilters I’m surrounded with.