“When he (Jesus) had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” –Luke 5:4
Since there are few places on earth that I would rather be than in a fishing boat, this Bible story we read for worship recently has always been a favorite. Now as I write this the water is frozen and the air is cold, but had I the time (and a good ice drill) I would still be glad to head out on a lake.
But, of course, Jesus does not leave them there. Jesus calls those fishermen to follow, but it begins with a simple act of faith. Simon Peter is told to let down the nets, and at first he is reluctant – “Master, we have worked all night and caught nothing” is his reply. “Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets” (Luke 5:5). Then despite his protests of unworthiness, Jesus sets him on a journey of faith that would be part of changing history.
It begins with a simple act of faith. The simple act of letting down the nets, despite the apparent futility of one more try, opens the eyes of all those present. Sometimes I get caught up in trying to figure out everything that is going on, and what God might have planned. It is a good thing to think, and pray, and reflect. But I also have times when I get so caught up in what I think I already know that I neglect to do the simple acts of faith that Jesus calls for in my life.
Simple acts of faith, like our presence together at worship. Some days it might not be convenient, but our simple presence might be the blessing some other person needs that day. Simple acts, like taking time to listen, extending a hand in friendship, providing a meal in a time of need, giving time to your family or community, sharing your resources to provide ministry for others. Even when we can’t foresee the impact, God can begin with those things to change lives. Maybe today is fishing time again.