Called to Fish, Shaped to Serve

A year ago today, it was DAY 2 of my BAP ( ordination selection panel).  It was bitterly cold and there was snow on the ground in Ely. In the talk you have to give, I spoke on the subject of vocation and call, and used the following poem.

What a journey to that day a year ago …. and what a journey since.  I titled the talk

Called to Fish – Shaped to Serve

Follow me


Follow me !

and with those words

He turned my world

downside up and

upside down.

My heart caught fast

within His net

He hauled me in

and I could only kneel.

His words would call me on

As I stepped out of

all I knew

and tried to put my

footsteps in the sea.

Sometimes I

followed at his side,

And laughed and loved

And learned;

But there were times

He strode ahead

and I could not

see his face of flint.

Then they led

my Lord away

and I could only

follow from afar.

Once again he called

me from the shore,

bidding me

cast my nets

afresh, where I

had toiled, and

failed to find;

filling my heart

as well, and

straining both

to  breaking point.

His call was

then to feed his flock,

carry his lambs,

and give my hands

to those who

would lead me

towards my death.

“Follow me!”

though path be hard,

and way unknown;

taking His word

and flame to

peoples yet

outside the fold.

What could I

do but go?

He calls me still..




In one of their last recorded conversations, Jesus calls Peter to feed his sheep and carry his lambs, and the rest, as they say is history..

However to transform a fisherman into a ‘fisher of men’ , a  shepherd/pastor and a foundation stone of the church Christ was building – he had to shape him for purpose.

That shaping started with his initial call to Peter to leave his nets ( and the biggest catch of his career) and follow him into the unknown.  Many further calls would follow, that would challenge, shape and equip Peter for the role he was being asked to take on.

In musing on the subject of vocation, it seemed logical to start with one of the first to be called to build the Kingdom. Peter is someone I very much identify with-not least for his endearing quality of always having his foot in his mouth, but also for the way God turned his life upside down, and shaped him for the purposes for which he called him. We are not all like Peter, and I believe God honours our very different and unique personalities, by calling us in equally unique ways.  In His continuing calls in my journey, and in those I work alongside in parish life – I see God’s shaping hand.  It has not always been easy for me to hear Jesus call to follow him,  some times I may have wished for selective deafness!  It is my passion nevertheless, to  be a part of assisting others to both hear and heed God’s calls on their lives – to be a shaping tool in other’s journeys, even as I am myself encouraged, challenged and shaped by them.




2 thoughts on “Called to Fish, Shaped to Serve

  1. Pingback: Water of life | afeatheronthebreathofgod

  2. Pingback: Looming Liminality or Base Jumping | afeatheronthebreathofgod

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s