Intramural, co-ed volleyball. Now there’s a topic that probably has all kinds of analogies just waiting to be discovered. Some quite humorous, I imagine. I was never very good at sports, despite my height. I used to say that my main function on the team was to get off the bus first just to intimidate the opponents. Beyond that, I’m afraid I didn’t have too much to offer.
Nonetheless, I continued to enjoy volleyball, just for fun and exercise. In preparation for one church event, someone brought out a net that needed untangling and a bit of repair. It took quite awhile, and I remember one of the women saying, “don’t give up now; look how far we’ve come!”
There’s volleyball analogy #1, I suppose.
But I’m thinking about other nets and the storyline that still intrigues me, one that I admit still somewhat alludes my understanding, (i.e., feel free to add any thoughts of wisdom.)
When Simon Peter first meets Jesus, the former was in a boat doing what professional fishermen do, but not having much success at it all that night. Until, of course, Jesus shows up and directs him to cast on the other side. Peter hesitatingly relents, and…
“…this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear!”
Now, fast forward to one of the last appearances of the resurrected Lord to His beloved disciples—the picnic on the beach. Peter decides to go fishing; that’s all he knows to do at this point. It’s familiar, it’s productive; he’s in waiting mode anyway. Once again, they catch nothing. Until “someone” on shore tells them where to cast the net causing yet another huge catch…
“…and yet the net hadn’t torn.”
Not this time. Perhaps in the first scenario, they were just fishing: doing what adults do to obtain whatever we need for ourselves, our families, our own personal interests. Naturally, that’s our main concern, and on the face of it, it sure seems the responsible thing to do.
Until our nets break, and everything starts to fall out. Until we realize that all this—gifts and profession and money and family and stuff and life—it’s not about me. It’s about and FOR Someone much greater, with a much better fishing plan.
I’m thinking one of the lessons in this contrast is that when living for myself, even in the “I’m being a responsible adult” mode, is not enough. I’m fishing in shallow water with fragile nets. However, when truly living for Jesus, the nets are actually about His kingdom come, His will be done. Definitely that plan also includes my family, my needs, my everything, but the final result is much, much different.
And in the end, the picnic will be really, really good.
Luke 5:6; John 21:11 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
2 thoughts on “Which side of the boat is your net on?”
There are definitely many times, like right now, when it feels as if my net is overwhelmingly heavy. And then I come across some writing like yours to encourage me to trust Him. Thank you for being faithful in writing this.
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What a huge compliment, and thank you for THAT encouragement!