Do you remember when Peter first met Jesus? It was when Peter and his fishing partners had caught nothing.
"Put your net down on the other side for the catch" Jesus had said. Peter had humoured the carpenter from Galilee and had done so. When he did, the net nearly broke. He asked Jesus for forgiveness; but instead received an offer. "Follow me!"
And Peter did. Interestingly, if you follow Peter's story, it is full of fish: fish with coins in their mouths, fish that were multiplied to feed thousands and the like. And then Jesus is crucified. The disciples, uncertain that this is the way things were to go are confused. Peter falls back on what he knows.
"I'm going fishing", he says. A few join him. They catch nothing all night. And then they see a man on the beach, in the distance, warming himself by a fire. He calls something out: "Put your net on the other side..."
They do so, but I imagine as they do, Peter is thinking: "Where have I heard that before...?" Suddenly there is a flurry of activity as 153 (yes, they counted: see John 21:11) fish jump into the net. Wait a minute, Peter thinks, this is just like when I first met...
"It's the Lord!!" Peter exclaims and jumps into the water to get to the beach to greet his friend. There, Jesus is cooking breakfast - bread and, yes, fish. And they eat together.
I imagine every time Peter saw fish from that time on, he was reminded of his mission and ministry. And sometimes, the fish would have changed direction but he kept following where the fish led. We too must do the same - following our fish as God reminds us that he takes us where he wants us to be for his purposes.
Well, I am somewhat sad, yet excited to say that my fish has changed course. On Friday July 25, I will conclude my time at Emmanuel and want to thank you for the honour and privilege of serving you. I am thankful for the provision of God in bringing us not only Mr Innes-Hill, but also our three Chaplains - Mr Newth, Mrs Tabacaru and Mr McQueen, to continue to support, uphold and serve the College. To this amazing team I offer my deepest gratitude for the privilege of serving alongside you. Thank you.
Of course, my children will continue at Emmanuel and my wife and I stay connected as parents and supporters of the College. So where to now? At this stage, I have no idea but God does. That's why your prayers for us are appreciated as I listen intently and closely watch that fish...