In your Space

13 09 2008

I have had, this week, running around in the back of my mind, the picture of Jesus getting into Simon Peter’s boat (you find it in Luke 5), and the phrase ‘invading your space’ keeps coming round. I remember thinking about private space – that bit of space in front of us, where, if people invade it, we feel uncomfortable.  I once heard a tourist guide in Canada saying that the private space for a grizzly bear was about 160 feet.  I don’t know whether that is true, or even if it should have been yards, but we understood the concept –  keep out of his private space otherwise he will get upset!  We don’t like people being in our private space; it makes us edgy. Perhaps that is why when Jesus does it today, we’re hardly aware of it.

But back to Peter. He’s in his boat after a fruitless night’s fishing, washing out his nets, presumably getting rid of weed and bits of flotsam, when along walks Jesus and climbs into his boat. He is now in Peter’s private space and Peter must be wondering, hullo, what is happening here? Then Jesus asks him to push out a bit from the shore so Jesus can use his boat as a  preaching platform. Now John’s Gospel tells us that Peter had met Jesus before (see John 1) so Peter knows something of this man and is intrigued or, perhaps, just hasn’t got the courage to say no.  At the end of his teaching Jesus tells Peter to throw his nets out for a catch. Now Peter is a fisherman and fishermen know the waters and Peter knows that last night there were no fish and now there are still no fish, but something about this man intrigues him or, perhaps, he hasn’t got the courage to say no. Whatever it is, he throws the net over and to his horror finds it full of fish. He is scared silly!

Now that incident has been going round in my mind this week. It seems it is analogous to what happens in life.  We are minding our own business and then suddenly Jesus comes along and invades our space – but we’re not aware that he’s there, because today he doesn’t have a single human body; he comes by His Holy Spirit.  So does it matter that he’s ‘there’?  Well yes, because he doesn’t remain silent; he says stuff.  Now because we’re not expecting this we don’t recognise what is happening.  We simply find questions rising in our mind, or start feeling discontented with our life.  So  many Christians will testify that this is what started happening. They didn’t realise it at the time but this was Jesus coming near at the time when he saw we were ready, and he invaded our private space and then got in our face.  We weren’t aware of what was happening but interest rose in us, questions rose in us, disquiet rose in us, self-awareness arose in us, and that self awareness realised we had a problem.  What was happening?  To use a modern phrase, Jesus was messing with our mind.  Sometimes we refer to it as being convicted by the Holy Spirit, but the Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus and it’s him at work, drawing us towards God.

So could it be that you had Jesus invading your space recently and didn’t realise it. You’re not a Christian but you’ve found yourself recently questioning the meaning of your life.  It’s all right, it’s just Jesus invading your space, seeking to bring you to a place of understanding and commitment. Fight it if you like, but you’ll be fighting the best thing that can ever happen to you.

Maybe you’re a Christian already and you thought this only happened at the beginning of the Christian life. Think again. He comes again and again to invade our space when he wants to get our attention afresh. Maybe it’s to start us off on a new phase of life, maybe it’s just to bring you fresh revelation, but he does it all the time. Every step forward we make in faith is because he first came and ‘invaded our space’, so take note of it, and go with it. You could be about to step out on the next big step of this adventure called faith. Have fun.




One response

10 09 2009

Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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