A post by my beloved:
Put away the sword and get on the trout
“Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus the high priest’s slave. But Jesus said to Peter “Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given me?” John 18:11
This is the account of Jesus’ betrayal. Peter of course gets it all wrong, the Lord did not need defense. But, this is actually the third time that Peter is out of sync with his Lord. The other two happen just prior according Mark 14:32-42. Jesus asks the disciples to be with him while he prays. The assumption is that they would pray for him since his soul is “crushed to the point of death.” But, they just fall asleep, twice.. Finally, Jesus confronts Peter “Simon are you asleep? Couldn’t you watch with me even for one hour?”
This got me thinking, how often are we out of sync with our Lord. We want action, when he wants dependence. We want the now, he wants “not my will, but yours.” Our Lord’s way of doing things are so…. slow, odd, silly, confusing. What did Jesus know that we see as so foreign?
One of the things I enjoy doing is fly-fishing. There is something about having the river slip through your legs while casting to a large brown trout while surrounded by trees that the water has pushed back. You stand in the middle of a whole different world, something that you can see but struggle to understand.
Most people think the hardest thing about fly-fishing is the casting. It is a odd rhythm that resembles the elegance of a reoccurring dance. But, that is actually the easy part. When I first started, I could not catch a fish if my life depended on it. I spent hours practicing the cast, and actually became pretty good. Still though, no trout would give me satisfaction of the strong pull that fills my rod.
Finally, in desperation, I went to the library. There I discovered a book, “Prospecting for Trout,” that introduced me to the underwater world of trout. What they eat, how they eat, where they located in the stream, how to approach them without freaking them out. Suddenly I saw. The next trip out, my rod felt the heavy weight of a fish fighting to stay in his world.
I think Jesus understood this, and Peter didn’t. Like a fly-fisherman who looked good on the outside but missed the most important element, we too seem to follow in Peter’s fatal flaw. You and I choose action, worry, apathy, anger, anything, but prayer. They all seem to be better options, to have the opportunity to yield better results. Yet, they are all like casting beautifully to a stretch of water that doesn’t hold a single trout. A pointless waste of energy on something that feels good; but is worthless.
You see, our Lord understood how things work. In James 4:2 he tells us “you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.” Prayer puts us on the trout. We suddenly are connected with the eternal world, somehow in an act that doesn’t seem to “do enough” that seems to be “too little.” Prayer miraculously accomplishes the very thing we seek. Mark 11:23 tells that prayer with belief can accomplish the impossible, and Philippians 4:5-7 reveals that prayer will give our hearts peace. Peace and Power; an amazing combination. Maybe that is why the Lord was so blunt with Peter, he just wanted him to put him on the trout. Put away the sword our Lord is saying to you and I. Put away the anger, the apathy, the bitterness, the worry, all that junk. Pick up some prayer. Unless you don’t want change and peace. In that case, just keep casting away beautifully at that dead stretch of water, I am moving upstream to where the trout are……