I've had a bit of time out recently and I've deserved it!
I have to say that because as leaders and Christians so often we feel every second counts for the Kingdom and we have only one life to change the universe and we want to leave a legacy that is eternal and guilt overwhelms us if we dare to sit back and do what the Bible tells us to do and rest!
Time out for rest is good. But there is another kind of 'time out' when we're lost - Peter was doing that in John 21 when his hopes had been dashed, he had denied Jesus and his friend had been crucified.
All he wanted to do was to go back to what was comfortable and what he knew: "I'm going out to fish!".
Even then he wasn't left alone cos the others said "We'll go with you" (did Peter groan?)
verse 4 has really come alive to me in all the recent busy chaos of life and maybe apathy and disappointment and self-doubt: 'Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realise that it was Jesus'.
He is still there, He will always be there, He has never left there but sometimes we don't realise that in our circumstances He is waiting, waiting for us to realise that He hasn't left.
Now I am putting my nets on the RIGHT side of the boat and I have realised it is Him and I am leaving the boat and I am swimming to shore and I know He has lit a fire and I am excited at the thought of being with Him and the inspiration He is going to bring to feed His sheep.
I am becoming excited once again about what God is wanting to do through us this coming year. Thoughts are coming which are Holy Spirit inspired (believe me I've known the difference!) and my emotions are stirring again to see God's people get provoked (more on that another time!).
My cry is to live like Jesus in the fullness of the Spirit, obedient to the point of sacrifice, loving life and people, finding joy in serving. He is on the shore and I am swimming to Him again.
Let us each be like the disciple that Jesus loved and turn to each other and point to the shore and say 'It is the Lord!' - how much we need each other! How much the enemy wants to isolate us (his main strategy for destroying our faith and the church). How much will He never let us go!