Seven disciples have fished all night and caught nothing. Jesus is quietly standing on the shore – watching, not absent. The disciples are so focused on the fishing that they don’t recognize him. Finally Jesus calls to the exhausted men. “Friends, haven’t you any fish!” They are called into voice to admit they caught nothing. Jesus continues, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” I think we see a common cycle here. It is so easy to be so focused on what we are attempting to do that we do not even realize Jesus is close by, letting us do things “our way.” Then we are finally able to admit that we have failed, need help and remember to pray, Jesus is then able to speak into our lives about how to make it successful.
What might be an example as most of us are not fishermen? Movies love to portray this kind of reversal. I think of Lion King. Simba, the son, is told not to go into the land of the hyenas but disobeys and has to be rescued by his father. After his father’s death, he runs away in failure. Nula confronts him with the need to think differently, to return and rescue the kingdom. He has to confront his failure. Another example is when we read motives and feelings into another’s actions that offend us but when we sit down and talk, we discover they are having a hard day about something entirely different and you just got in the way. You can then shake hands and be friends again.
Christianity challenges us to try God’s way and to not demand on our way. We are called to forgive, to share, and to go the extra mile. We are to pray for our enemies and share our resources. As you sit today and focus on faith, listen for God’s voice saying, “Throw your net on the other side!” His way will always work out for the best in the long run. It may not mean health, wealth, and prosperity for there are many martyrs but being at peace with a God who is risen and watching and guiding is always a good choice. Blessings.