Iba, Zambales, where the National PRISAA is being held at the moment is a municipality beside the sea. Athletes and coaches from all over the Philippines have visited the beaches here this past week either to exercise or simply to relax and wait for the games to begin.
In one of the post-resurrection stories, Jesus was at a seaside waiting for the disciples who decided to go fishing. This story can be found in John 21:1-14.
What can we learn from this story?
Let us consider the portion about fishing.
They went fishing during night time. They went fishing at the deep. Jesus on the other hand told them to fish during the early morning, and to fish in shallow waters.
What is Jesus trying to teach us?
First, Jesus is teaching us to think “outside the box” “beyond borders” “apart from traditions”.
When everyone is doing it on nighttime, try doing it in day time. If they are all doing it on the left side of the boat, you try doing it on the right side. If most people are doing it in deep waters, then try it in shallow waters.
For athletes, this means that they need to find strokes that maybe considered as unorthodox but effective. This means changing your game even in the middle of the game so that you can win the game. This means trying out new combinations, new styles, new techniques.
Another portion of the story is about the haul of the disciples. It was full of large fish, 153 in all. They were not able to haul it all at once.
What can we learn from this?
Second, Jesus is teaching us about obedience.
The story of the Israelites in the Old Testament is a story of obedience and disobedience. When they obeyed, they prosper. If they disobeyed, something bad will happen to them.
When the disciples obeyed Jesus, they were rewarded with a great haul of fish.
In this regard, athletes need to listen to their coaches. Our coaches are there to guide them and point out their mistakes. Most players who do not listen are not rewarded.
Another portion of the story is about Jesus having some fish and bread on burning coals. Jesus also told his disciples to add the fresh catch of fish to what He already prepared.
What is Jesus trying to point here?
Third, Jesus is teaching us that we need time to unwind and relax.
Oftentimes we picture out Jesus as someone who is very serious and boring. This is not so. Children were running to him. Jesus had a great charisma.
There are many stories in the Bible that Jesus brought his disciples to unwind and relax. He brought them to an island-hopping journey, to weddings, to the mountains for a retreat, and seaside for eating.
For athletes, they need to be reminded that there should be a time to cool down and relax. If not, then they will be stressed out and cannot perform well.
May we find time to be at a seaside and re-read the stories of Jesus beside the sea.
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on
April 24, 2017