I wake to have my interest peaked as I scan my emails. Try, try again or consider those kind of doors closed?
The idea of submission has captured me again.
Lord, tell me what to say.
Jesus had a captive audience. His presence caused men, women and children to be drawn towards him.
He was a teacher enthused over his lesson plan, he wanted everyone who listened to learn, to be changed by their learning.
He sat one day on the edge of a fishing boat, the fishermen must have called it a day and so Jesus perched himself on the edge and faced the crowd who had gathered on the shore.
Big crowds must have followed him all around, maybe pausing to answer others’ curious questions.
Where are you going?
Who is this man named Jesus anyway?
Why are you following him?
Isn’t he just Joseph’s son?
Do you really believe what they’re saying?
Have you actually seen him do the things people are saying he can do?
Could it be possible?
Simon thought he knew more than Jesus. Jesus told him to let down the nets, to put the boat back in the water, to go and try again.
Simon told Jesus we’ve tried all night and no luck, essentially “nary a bite” man!
Jesus told him try again.
“Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.”
Luke 5:3-7 ESV
I have a paperweight on my desk that says “something wonderful will happen today”, another that says “you haven’t failed until you give up” and a solid and smooth rock engraved with one word, “soar”.
On occasion I notice them, rarely really.
Instead I recall unexpected rescues, kindnesses that correct my budgetary mistakes, staff who encourage me, endure my negativity and cynicism.
A family who supports my work, supports and stands by me.
I see God coming through in ways that come from my keeping on, keeping an even keel.
I know the bountiful catch is coming and I put down my net and maybe just wait. I do my part, I rest.
I listen to sincere encouragement, I discern in the faces and reactions and even the decisions of others.
Whether here or there or even anywhere, are the places I place my words and my art, the places I “let my net down” that came back empty before, now possibly to reap a joyful multiplication that will honor God, nudge others towards Him.
Jesus, God’s son came to earth to use earthly objects and experiences to teach us to hope.
Teachable moments like a burnt out and hopeless fisherman, expert at his trade who wasn’t having a good fishing day.
Jesus suggested he try again.
Advent, a time to prepare ourselves for the hope of Christmas.
Jesus, the Messiah.
He is our hope, the hope of all mankind.
We must do these things we think we cannot do, we must believe again in the possible impossibilities.
What will you try, try again that you thought you may as well give up?
Big things have small beginnings and small things with repetition and resolve come through.
Try. Try again.