What are you ready to give up on, call it quits and say, “Enough is enough?
Would you change your mind if Jesus sent you an email from heaven and told you to try again, but this time do it from a different angle, take a different approach? Would you respond like Simon Peter did in the Gospel reading (Luke 5:1-11)? Would you throw your net on the other side, even though you couldn’t see any fish there and you’re way too tired?
Sometimes, Jesus does want us to quit, like when we’re casting pearls before swine. He said we should wipe the dirt from our shoes and move on. At other times, he wants us to quit because we’re not doing his will in the first place.
And sometimes he tells us to try again but differently, in a strange, perhaps foolish way. This usually occurs when success is only a few steps ahead but we can’t yet see it. Weary and losing hope, we’re unwilling to take one more step. We think God is not giving us any helpful guidance, but that’s only because we’re expecting him to say or do something that makes sense to us.
What’s your empty net?
Perhaps it’s a relationship that’s deteriorated, and reconciliation seems impossible. Healing often comes after we do what we had resisted before, such as daring to set up and enforce boundaries that block hurtful behaviors. At first this will cause deeper division in the relationship, but it can become the turning point that leads to conversion and new growth in the one who’s been hurting us, which finally opens the way to true reconciliation.
Perhaps your job situation seems hopeless. Is Jesus telling you to look in an entirely different direction? Is he trying to take you where you don’t want to go? Maybe he’s pointing at a goal where the obstacles seem insurmountable. Trust him; he’ll open the right doors for you.
Remember who God really is. Even when his guidance doesn’t make sense, God is still God. He has an over-abundant catch of blessings waiting to jump into your net. As the responsorial Psalm says (Ps 24:1-6), “To the Lord belongs the earth and all that fills it.” If he wants to, he can multiply the fish and make them torpedo themselves directly into our nets. And he does want to!
But first we have to give up our own ideas of how a problem should be fixed. We shall not delude ourselves into thinking that we are wise, for then we are truly foolish. When we’re ready to quit doing things our way, because it’s only led to failure, that’s when Jesus shows us where and how to find success. Although the fishing trip might take a while, he’s telling us how to experience miracles that will give us more than what we hope for or imagine to be possible.