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.”
I couldn’t believe it when I looked out our motel window on that rainy day in Two Rivers, Wisconsin and saw a sailing ship come into the harbor. I grabbed my camera and we drove to the docks to see this unexpected sight on our trip to the Great Lakes.
When Simon Peter was mending his nets that day the last thing on his mind was going back out to deep water. He never expected to have the catch of his career that day. And he would have missed it if he hadn’t sad, “because you say so.” I have seen again in these days of my life the unexpected ways God is working, leading me to photography and this blog. These words of Debie Thomas from her essay, “Same old, same old,” on the Journey with Jesus online magazine, struck me in a powerful and unexpected way so I share them with you now. (I encourage you to read this whole wonderful essay.)
"Second, the story honors the “same old same olds” of our individual lives. Jesus’s call in this story is specific and particular, rooted in the language, culture, and vocation his hearers knows best. Simon and his partners understand the nuances of the “catching people” metaphor in ways I never will. That is, they know from years of experience what depths of patience, resilience, intuition, and artistry professional fishing require. Simon knows the tools of the trade, the limitations of his body, and the life-and-death importance of timing, humility, and discretion. Most of all, he knows the water. He knows how to respect it, how to listen to it, and how to bring forth its best. When Jesus shows up and commissions the seasoned fisherman, Simon understands the call not as a directive to leave his experience and intelligence behind, but to bring the best of his knowledge and expertise forward — to become even more fully and freely himself.
The hardest thing to do at these moments is to make the leap of trust that Simon makes. “Yet if you say so, I will.” Yet if you say so, I will try again. Yet if you say so, I will be faithful to my vocation. Yet if you say so, I will go deep rather than remain in the shallows. Yet if you say so, I will trust that your presence in the boat is more precious than any guarantee of success. Yet if you say so, I will cast my empty net into the water, and look with hope for your kingdom to come.
May it be so."
Lord of the Unexpected
Help us to look at ourselves and then look at you and say, “because you say so I will.” And then put out to deep water.
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