WK#17 - The Fisherman's Success

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One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, he saw at the water's edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch." Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets." When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon's partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men." So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him. Luke 5:1-11, NIV

Sometimes we become so busy and caught up in the things of this world that we forget or become too busy for some of the most valuable opportunities of life. Keep Peter in mind as you read this short story about a Mexican fisherman.

There once was a man from a Mexican village who owned a small fishing boat. An American businessman arrived in that same, small coastal Mexican village, and happened to be standing at that same, small pier where a small boat with a lone fisherman docked. There at the small pier the American met that same, small Mexican fisherman. Inside the boat were several large, yellow-fin tuna. The American complimented the quality of the fish and asked the fisherman, "How long did it take you to catch them?" The Mexican fisherman replied, "Only a little while, Señor." "Then why," the American asked, "didn't you stay out longer and catch more fish?" The fisherman replied, "God provides enough for my family's needs." Then the American said, "Well, what do you do with the rest of your time?" The Mexican fisherman said, "Sometimes I take a day off and I sleep in and play with my children. I like to take a siesta with my wife. Each evening I stroll into the village where we have dinner and I play guitar with my amigos." The American scoffed! He said, "I have an MBA in business and I could help you!" The fisherman said, "You can help me, Señor?" "Yes, I can really help you!" "What do you mean?" The businessman replied, "You should spend more time fishing, catch more fish and then buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger fishing vessel you can buy several boats and hire extra staff to fish for you. Eventually, you will have a fishing fleet and a huge staff. At that point, instead of selling to the middleman, you'll be able to sell directly to the processor. That will mean more money and more capital. "Then guess what?" the business man continued excitedly, "Eventually you can open your own cannery and soon you'll be able to control the market. You'll be a millionaire!" "A millionaire?" the humble Mexican asked, more shocked than convinced. "How long will this take, Señor?" "About 15 to 20 years!" "Then what, Señor?" the Mexican asked. "Then you could retire," the American said, "and move to a small coastal village where you can take a day off, sleep in and play with your kids. Take a siesta with your wife and stroll into the village in the evening ... have dinner and play guitar ... uhhh."

Peter knew what it would take to be successful fishing in the lake; it required casting the nets in the shallow areas in the early morning hours of the day. There was no way he could catch fish out in the deep water of the lake in the heat of the day! But he was proven wrong in a miraculous way. Too often we are like Peter fishing in the shallow-end of the lake. Then we get the command to fish in deeper waters and we question the command.

Peter could have walked away being tired and ready for a nap, but he didn't. The lesson in this fishing story is that sometimes we lose 20 years to get something we already have. And all we've done is lost our contentment, forsaken the life lessons along the way, and lose all that precious time.

God can redeem your time - so who are you fishing for?

I am grateful, my loving God,
For my arena of service,
For a place to put my feet,
For burdens to carry and lives to touch
In the course of my daily labors.
May I be sensitive to your leading
And to the hurts and needs of people around me. Amen.

Some things to be mindful of this week:

  • We will be showing the movie "Flywheel" Friday at 7pm, childcare will be provided.
  • We will be hosting Dr. San Young Lee from Asia Pacific Nazarene University on Sunday, May 23 10am
  • Mark your calendar for June 6 for our Annual Business Meeting we will hold services and then during the Sunday School hour hold the meeting.