Why Some People Don't Catch Fish
the sail on the sail fish.
He put the big in the whale
and the play in the dolphin;
it was Him alone who put electric in the eel
and just because He's God.
And if He's God enough to do all of that,
what can He do with you,
when you're ready to catch fish?
—Robert C. Wright
In tomorrow's Gospel reading, Luke tells us that Jesus preached to a large crowd out of Simon's boat. As the sermon finished, he told Simon, "Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch." Simon explained how they had been out all night and caught nothing, he added though, "Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets." They ended up catching an amazing load of fish, so that it took two boats to haul in the nets. My friend from seminary, the Very Rev. Robert C. Wright (who wrote the delightful quote above) reflected on this passage for Day One saying,
Some people don't catch fish because they refuse to go into deep water. Jesus told Simon, "Let's leave the shallows and go to the deep."The full text of his reflection is worth reading. It is online here: Why Some People Don't Catch Fish.
Everybody knows the schools of big fish are in the deeper water. And the first rule of fishing is you've got to go where the fish are. But we shouldn't limit this to fish only. Jesus was teaching a spiritual principal.
We could substitute fish for abundance or wisdom or love, healing or peace. All those things we want in abundance. Some people don't catch these things because they simply refuse to go deep.
Deep water is where the increase is. Deep water takes faith. Deep water is a risk. Focus of mind and heart are needed.
The visibility in deep black water is next to nothing. You've got to trust the words and directions of others who have passed through deep water to make it there. Jesus is always inviting people to the deeper end of things.
But shallow water is pleasant. It tickles our ankles when we walk in it. The minnows and the half-grown fish gather there. You can see all the way to the bottom in shallow water.
Staying in shallow water is such a temptation. Shallow water doesn't cost much; it doesn't take a whole lot of courage. But Simon knew the minnows couldn't feed him. They couldn't fill him. The minnows weren't the desire of his heart. The deep water of faith is where those things we say we want are swimming around. The shallow is where we begin the adventure, not where we finish.
There is a time for classes and listening and a time to live what we've learned, a time to receive and a time to give sacrificially, a time to worship the Lord in church, and a time to be church and lead the world in the worship of the Lord.
Deep water is where we have to go to get what God has for us.
Labels: Gospel reading