Casting the Net on the Other Side

Posted by rjagilbert on November 6, 2019 at 9:20 PM

Jesus was walking beside the sea one morning when he came upon a weary fisherman in a boat not far from the shore.

“Have you caught anything?” Jesus asked the fisherman.

“Not a thing,” came the unhappy reply.

“Throw your net onto the other side of the boat,” Jesus offered helpfully.

The fisherman shrugged, scowled, and ignored him.

“No, seriously,” Jesus said, “Pull your net up and put it down on the other side of the boat.”

The fisherman gave the Son of God a long, cold stare, then replied. “With all due respect, I’ve been fishing all night. Every half-hour or so, somebody like you showed up and gave me encouraging words, telling me to ‘keep trying’ and then suggest that maybe I just needed to throw my net on the other side of my boat. The first few times, I thought maybe there was something to their suggestions, so I tried it. I pulled up my heavy nets, detangled them, and threw them out on the other side of the boat. Then I tried the front of the boat. Then the back of the boat. But each time I followed their suggestions, I still got nothing.”

“That is because they were not the Son of God,” Jesus said.

“Fair enough,” the fisherman noted. “But after a while, every time I’d tell them I’d already tried that, they started telling me I wasn’t trying hard enough. Or they told me my net wasn’t strong enough, or my skills at fishing aren’t good enough. But I’ve had enough success with my skills and my net and my resolve to know that their excuses were no more true than their promises of fish if I took their advice.”

“I am sorry about that,” Jesus said, “But I am Jesus.”

“That’s who they all claimed to speak for, too,” the fisherman countered. “The last couple of them got down-right abusive with their accusations. Saying I needed more faith or that I deserved to fail because of some secret sin.” He glared at Jesus. “I hate to say it, but thanks to your followers, I’m not very happy with you.”

“Well,” Jesus shrugged, “I am here now.” He motioned for the fisherman to pull in his nets. “This time, it will be different.”

The fisherman shook his head. “If you are the Son of God, I’m sure you will understand you’re too late to ask that of me.”

“It is never too late,” Jesus insisted. “No matter what you have done, you still matter to God.”

“Fine,” the fisherman said impatiently, “If you still think I matter…” He pointed into the water. “I’ve already proven myself. There is my net. It’s still waiting for you to prove yourself.”

As the Son of God opened his mouth to speak, the fisherman angrily cut him off. “Don’t tell me where to throw my net, Jesus. If you want a miracle this late in the game, you’re going to have to tell the fish where to swim.”


Categories: Fables and Tales, Politics, Religion, and Physics, Communion Meditations