HabitsToday’s Word: ‘Habits’ as in… we can always catch some new ones.

You’ll need some of those orange colored, cheddar flavored, fish-shaped crackers for this one.

Ready? Let’s go…

All of us have habits; some can be harmful, others can be helpful. Some habits, like brushing our teeth, expressing gratitude, or being on time for meet-ups and appointments can create order in our sometimes frenetically scheduled lives. Other habits, like not getting enough sleep, or gossiping can negatively impact our lives and relationships.

Our daily lives are filled with all manner of habits: we wake up, shower, eat food, gather our necessities, head out the door, and move through the day with relative predictability. We return home, interact with our friends and family, then eventually get some sleep.

The next day we repeat these rhythmic habits.

Occasionally, these rhythms are interrupted. That’s when life gets pretty interesting!

The story of the miraculous catch of fish in John 21:1-7 gives us a new twist on old habits. Let’s take a look at the story:

Later, Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee. This is how it happened. Several of the disciples were there—Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples.

Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.”

“We’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night.

At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?”

“No,” they replied.

Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it.

Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work), jumped into the water, and headed to shore.

Jesus basically says, “Throw your nets to the other side…” We may have to pause and reflect on what that means for our lives.

Take a moment to quiet yourself. Close your eyes and imagine being in a boat on the water.

Now imagine Jesus speaking to you about throwing your nets on the “other side.”

What does he mean? What does the “other side” mean for you? What new thing is God trying to do in and through you?

Okay, it’s time to get crackin’ … or crackerin’ now. You’ll need those orange colored, cheddar flavored, fish-shaped crackers

Now set a few of those crackers in front of you, as if in a net. For each cracker, think of some word or phrase that identifies a habit that you’d like to “release” from the net.

Actually, you’re going to eat that cracker and all it stand for; this is not a “catch and release” exercise.

Think about the habits that keep you from fully enjoying the relationships you have. Think about the habits that keep you from experiencing a thriving life.

Today, be aware of all the ways you can throw your net in new directions. You may just catch something profound… like a new vision for habits that lead you to be more fully human today! (adapted from my writing in “Christ In Me: 30 Next-Level Encounters.” ©2002, Group Publishing, Inc., Loveland, Colorado)Christ In Me


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