Breakfast of Champions (from Behind the Halo)

Life is full of the unexpected. Just look at the past year. What do you do to regain a sense of normalcy?

            “I don’t get it, Peter,” Andrew said, tossing nets into the brothers’ fishing boat. “First, Jesus meets Mary in the garden, then connects with Cloapas and Levi. Then he pops into our headquarters to have a bite to eat with us, and now we haven’t seen him for days.”

            “Beats the heck outta me, Andrew,” Peter answered, gathering baskets to hopefully load fish into later. “Everything I thought I knew has been turned upside down.”

            “Do you think we’ll see Jesus again?”

            Peter stopped what he was doing and looked at his brother. “Andrew, you remember that night on the lake when I walked on the water for a minute?”

            “More like a millisecond,” Andrew laughed. “What’s that got to do with anything right now?”

            “While I was looking at Jesus, I knew exactly what to do. It’s when I stopped looking at him that I got into trouble. I don’t know what to do, Andrew. I’m not sure how to go on.”

            Andrew threw a muscled arm over his brother’s shoulders for a brief moment. “I know, Peter, I feel the same way. Surely Jesus will come to us again and give us our marching orders. In the meantime, we need to put some food on the table and coins in the box for our families…so, we fish.”

            “I guess you’re right,” Peter shrugged. “Looks like the other guys are already hard at it. We better get going before they catch all the fish.”

            “Very funny!” Andrew called over his shoulder, shoving their boat into the water as the sun dipped below the horizon.

            Several hours later, dawn crept across the sky. Hours of rowing, casting, and retrieving empty nets had taken their toll, physically and mentally. The fishing boats slowly headed for the shore.

          Someone on the shore was waving to the exhausted men. “Friends,” he hollered, “how was your night’s fishing?”

            “A total wash-out!” Andrew hollered back.

            “Complete waste of time and energy,” Philip chimed in.

            “A big ol’ ditto!” James added.

            The face was beginning to come into focus as a familiar voice said, “How about toss your nets to the other side of the boat? I’ve got faith that you’ll catch something. Go ahead, give it a try!”

            Something in the tone and authority of the man’s voice made John jump up from his seat in the boat and strain to see the man clearly. “Brothers! Look, it’s Jesus!”

            “What? Jesus?” called Peter, turning to face the shore. “Jesus, it’s you!” he cried as he tossed off his outer clothes and sandals then dove into the water.

            The man on the shore began to laugh. “Somebody’s got to stay in the boats. Remember…fishing?” Jesus continued laughing as he headed inland and began building a fire. The disciples joined in with the laughter as they recalled meeting Jesus for the first time under the same circumstances. They were astounded then at the incredible haul of fish they’d brought in after following his directions. This time the men didn’t hesitate to do exactly what he told them.

            By the time Peter was on shore, the heaving boats were close behind him. Smells of roasting fish and bread filled the air.

            “Peter, looks like you and Andrew have plenty of fish; bring a few with you. Nathaniel, James, grab a few of yours, I bet you men are starved,” Jesus called to his disciples as he flipped fish and bread on the grate.

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