Tag Archives: Boat

Jesus Catches Peter

February 8, 2019


On one occasion, Jesus and Peter were in a boat together, just the two of them. It was a wonderful moment. Peter sat there and watched and listened, amazed as Jesus taught the crowd along the lakeshore. Peter had never heard someone so knowledgeable. He had never witnessed someone hold people’s attention so well. He had never felt so enlightened. Peter instantly came to admire and respect Jesus. What a privilege to have Jesus in his boat.

The crowd was awestruck by Jesus. He was a celebrity, a superstar. After Jesus had mesmerized the crowd, he turned to Peter with a startling request: “Please, push off and go further out onto the lake” (see Lk 5:4). Earlier Peter had to share Jesus with the crowd. Now Peter would have him all to himself. And it was Jesus’ idea. What an unexpected thrill. Usually a common person takes the initiative to reach out to a famous person hoping for a little time and attention, but this time the famous person wanted to spend time with an ordinary fellow.

When two men are out in a boat for a long while fishing, it is connect time. Fishermen are talkers, and usually there is a constant line of chatter between them. It is not known what Jesus and Peter spoke about, but it surely was meaningful, and it is not known how much time they spent together, but it surely was quality time.

Then Jesus made a bizarre request, “Lower your nets for a catch” (Lk 5:4). It is not strange for a fisherman to lower his nets. It was Peter’s job. He did this over and over again. But it was really strange to lower his nets during the daylight hours because fish feed in shallow water at night and swim out into deeper, cooler water during the heat of the day. Peter had to make a quick decision. He thought, “No one has ever been nicer to me. I do not want to offend him. He has been right on everything else. I will go along with him and see what happens.” Incredibly, Peter had a catch like never before – at the wrong time of the day, at the wrong place in the lake.

Peter was not just amazed. He was overwhelmed by the man in his boat. This Jesus is all-powerful, omnipotent; all-knowing, omniscient; and truly loving. It dawned on Peter that Jesus is not just a celebrity. Jesus is almighty, sovereign, and supreme, and he instinctively blurted out, “Lord,” because that is exactly what Jesus is, divine, the Son of God.

In the same moment, Peter realized that Jesus is pure goodness, holiness personified, and suddenly he was mortified that Jesus was in his boat. Peter thought, “Jesus is so good all the time, and I have been so bad so many times. I am unworthy. I do not deserve to have him in my boat.” Peter’s kneejerk response was, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man” (Lk 5:8).

Jesus does not take orders from Peter. Jesus was on his own fishing expedition, and that day Jesus caught Peter. Instead of departing, Jesus stayed, and instead of breaking ties, Jesus formed a partnership. Jesus wanted Peter to catch people (Lk 5:10). His plan was to give him the keys and to build his church upon him (Mt 16:18,19), and he wanted him to be his successor, to serve as shepherd, to feed his lambs (Jn 21:15,17) and tend his sheep (Jn 21:16). Peter was a sinner and unworthy, but if a person has to be perfect or blameless to serve, Jesus would have no one laboring in his vineyard. Jesus loves sinners and he asks them to be his co-workers, and as frail and flawed as they may be, through his healing grace the unworthy are chosen to serve.

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Outboard motor problem solved!

July 12, 2012

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I know this sounds strange, but I put my fishing boat in the water for the first time this season just the other day. On Monday evening, I took it to Lake Johanna in Arden Hills to make sure everything was running OK. Our family is going up north to the Brainerd area on July 22 for a week, so it’s always nice to check things out before a trip.

As I was backing the trailer into the water, I thought of something that needed to be done and hit the brake. With all of the straps unfastened, the back end of the boat dropped down and the bottom of the motor hit the concrete ramp.

Not good. Not good at all. Before even looking, I knew what I would  discover – a bent skeg. This is the triangular shaped fin at the very bottom of the motor, directly in front of the propeller.

The last time my skeg got bent, I had to pay $140 to get it fixed. Needless to say, I was not happy. In fact, today I went to confession to ask God’s forgiveness for the vocabulary I used after the mishap.

Despite the problem, I knew I could still drive the boat, so I dropped it in the water and tried to start it. It took a while, but I finally got it going. As I motored out on the lake with my son, William, and his friend, I noticed the boat pulling noticeably to the right. This is the classic symptom of a bent skeg.

So, that night, I went online to find a repair shop. I had been to one in Brooklyn Park for the first repair, but that’s a long ways, and it’s only open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Very inconvenient for me. It would mean no option of going on evenings or weekends.

Further searching produced a place called Propulsion, Inc. in Hudson, Wis. It’s open earlier in the morning (8 a.m.), plus on Saturdays. I called and talked to Dan Cremin. He was very helpful, and said I could come in the next morning and the shop mechanics could squeeze me in. He thought there was a good chance they could pound the skeg back straight again.

Excellent! I arrived there at 8:30 yesterday morning, and Dan got me in right away. In about 15 minutes, the job was done. And, here’s the best part – it only cost $15.

Needless to say, I was thrilled. This is a shop I can highly recommend. Dan did a great job of customer service, and I thanked him profusely.

He seemed a bit surprised by my praise.

“Usually, people don’t like to see us,” he said. They come in angry because they damaged their prop or lower unit and aren’t happy about paying an unexpected sum of money to fix the problem.

I get that. I wasn’t happy when I first bent the skeg, but I walked away satisfied because I knew I would have had to pay a lot more if the skeg had cracked while the mechanic was pounding on it. Dan had warned me that this could happen.

Thankfully, it didn’t. Now, I have a boat that’s in good working order, and a soul that’s clean, thanks to a priest I had lunch with today who was gracious enough to hear my confession.

Fortunately, there is no charge to straighten a bent soul.


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