“Teacher, we have worked all night and we have caught nothing…” (Luke 5:5)
The journey of a faithful life is the greatest adventure possible.
Life is a journey filled with numerous and varied adventures. Whenever we embark on an adventure we can never fully know where it will take us. We might have some ideas about the path ahead of us. Notions as to where we want to go. But life is not an idyllic Hollywood production. Rarely do things work out as we expect or desire. Sometimes there are pitfalls in the road, sometimes the road is made flat, sometimes the road leads through dark forests while other times besides still waters. Trying to make accommodations for all the variables in life is a fool’s errand too. Life can and will catch even the best of us, with the best laid plans, off guard. Not to mention the innumerable dangers that exist. Remember even in the Garden there was a snake. It is clear to anyone that has ever really lived, that total safety is not guaranteed, nor can it ever be. Which is why starting a journey takes courage and faith.
Look to the call story of Peter. After a night of struggle. After casting the net out over and over then pulling it back into their small boat only to do it again for no reward. Peter, Andrew, James and John are tired and ready to call it. But at the request of a Rabbi, who simply wants to be better heard by those listening to him, these men stay and help. They could have said no. Complaining about how tired and warn out they were. Pointing to the fact that even after a night of hard labor they still have no catch.
It would have been reasonable and prudent for them to say no. Instead, they give their help, and they listen to the words of the teacher. In this moment they choose to take the first steps of faith. But they don’t stop there. We see that once the lesson is over the Rabbi asks them to just put their nets down one more time. To take another step of faith and see what happens. At first, they are hesitant some might say skeptical, but they try it out anyway. After all, what do they have to lose?
They put down their net once more and everything changes. Suddenly a new path a new journey is opened to Peter, Andrew, James, and John. A path that will lead them on the greatest adventure possible. There will be dangers and there will be trials. But when these men walk with Jesus they will see miracles, they will know redemption, they will live in truth, they will encounter the Kingdom of God and they will become who God made them to be. Walking any of these paths is a noble and worthwhile venture on its own. Together they are on the greatest adventure a person can undertake and by necessity it all begins with a little faith.
Without the faith to take the next step, even without knowing the full outcome, these men would have stayed fishermen. They would have continued on the path of comfort holding fast to the ineffectual life that they knew. And in so doing they would have lost the opportunity to walk with God. Yet, with faith and courage these men left behind their nets and went after a greater calling of discipleship and grace. The most amazing aspect of this whole story is that while this is the journey of the Disciples. It is also the entry point for us as well. When we read the scriptures the adventure that is a life of faith is opened to us. We can and should hear the call of Jesus to come and see as an invitation. An invitation that will, just like the Disciples, lead us on an journey through adventures, both beautiful and challenging. But will in the end, have guided us through the best life that is as full of truth, discipline, and growth as is possible. With the ultimate aim for us to enter into the Kingdom of God.
May you hear Jesus’ call to you. May you live a life of truth and beauty. May you live in courage and take a step of faith. May God catch your heart and lead to life in the fullest possible meaning. See you on the road as we walk with Jesus.
Pr. Spencer Steele