Cast Your Net

Let’s talk about success… do you find it?

There’s a story of Peter, who was a professional fisherman, who decided to go fishing along with his friends.  The story is that after they had been fishing all night, they didn’t catch any fish and the nets they were using were empty.  I can imagine they were disappointed and maybe angry that their fishing trip was unsuccessful.  

Has that ever happened to you?  You had a plan with an expected outcome, and it didn’t turn out the way you thought it would, or needed it to?  The idea or plan initially sounded good, but when you got there, it wasn’t what you thought it would be and the experience didn’t yield the results you expected.  When that happens, frustration and stress can set in and leads you to begin questioning why you even tried, and that’s when the invitations to feel anything but successful arrive.

Peter’s story continues, that while he and his friends were still in the boat, they saw an unrecognizable man in the distance standing on the shore. Unaware of who he was, they heard the man calling out to them, asking “Hey, did you catch anything?”, “Nope, nothing,” they replied.  The stranger on the shore then said, “Cast your net on the other side, and you’ll catch some!”

At this point, maybe because they had been unsuccessful in their fishing attempts all night, they had nothing to lose so they did what the stranger told them to do.  And guess what?  When they cast their net on the other side of the boat, they caught so many fish that they couldn’t even pull in the net! SUCCESS!

When you have been toiling, working, and waiting for things to happen and they do not, you might be tempted to give up or even believe that success isn’t for you.  BUT, success for these guys was only a boat’s width away!  Three, maybe four feet from one side of the boat to the other was their vantage point.  Look how close they were to success and they didn’t even know it.    They could have ignored the stranger’s instruction, quit, and gone home with empty nets, but instead, they were open to cast their net differently.

What if you are that close to success?  The success you have been praying for and believing for.  You may not have a fishing net, I know I don’t, but I do have a net metaphorically, and chances are, you do too.  So, keep casting your net!  Maybe you are as close as a boat’s width away from seeing success in your own life, with your occupation, or in your relationships.  

How do we find success?  Maybe it is as simple as changing up, stepping back, or trying something a bit different than what you’re accustomed to doing.  Maybe it’s casting your net on the other side of the boat in the same spot where you’ve been fishing and coming up with empty nets.  For the group of friends, 3 or 4 feet made the unsuccessful fishing trip successful! It’s been said that the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing, the same way and expecting a different outcome.  I’m guilty of doing that exact thing, ugh!!!

Back to the story of Peter and his friend’s empty nets, Peter was a fishing expert, and when the stranger on the shore told them to do what they had been doing differently, he could have said, “Naw, man, I know what I’m doing, I do this for a living.”  Or any other excuses to disregard the instruction.  But they didn’t and when they did what the man on the shore said to do…they were immediately on the side of success.  Why casts the net the other side of the boat?  Because the unrecognizable man on the shore giving the instructions was Jesus and whatever Jesus says, is always right. This story is found in the Gospel of John, Chapter 21 and was the prelude to the famous Breakfast on the beach with Jesus.    

When your nets are coming up empty and you are tapped out, you may be on the verge of burnout.  Remember to take care of yourself, take a breath and gather your rest, and then…cast your net on the other side of the boat.  Keep your empty nets ready because things will change.  And, until success comes, listen to you heart and evaluate what you’ve been doing.  I’ve learned that being in a place of humility in your search for success allows you to accept instructions and suggestions, from people who may see what you don’t.  I hope you will look for opportunities to cast your net, because there is a bountiful harvest of success waiting for you, maybe as close as a boat’s width away!

A couple of my favorite verses – 

“Call unto Me, and I will answer, and I will show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”  Jeremiah 33:3

“For I know the thoughts I think toward you, (insert your name here), says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11

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