After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Luke 5:4
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” Luke 5:8
You just have to love Peter. Once again, he bravely shows us the most common reaction to God’s working in our lives. God is always asking us to come nearer, to listen more closely, to love more dearly, to fish deeper. And we usually respond with, “Well, I tried that, so I’m pretty sure it won’t work.” But, just to prove God wrong, we sometimes give it one more try.
I once was helping coordinating an Easter retreat. With all of the liturgies, prayer services, devotions and behind-the-scene details to manage I found myself becoming frazzled and overwhelmed. I found myself wishing people would stop asking for special considerations and (what I perceived as) petty needs and just let me do my job. I was nearing my wits end with one request when I felt an inner prompting that asked, “What if you just meet this need as best you can and let go of any judgment about it?” I know, it sounds like a simple answer, but it shifted my entire experience of the retreat. I started enjoying the “problems.” I even found myself joyfully unclogging a toilet, happy I could help! My net was full to breaking.
But, like Peter, after the glow of the Triduum faded, I began to doubt God’s working in my life. I wonder if we don’t fear what we might accomplish if we really allowed God to use our hands to bring His kingdom about here on Earth. It’s that fear that drives us to say “Depart from me Lord, for I am sinful.” Lucky for us God doesn’t listen to us then. He only comes closer and whispers again, “Lower your nets.”
My prayer today is that I listen to God’s promptings in my life and that I put my hands into His service.
Along with working as an independent teacher, Talib Huff volunteers and works at Christ the King Retreat Center in Citrus Heights. You may contact him at [email protected].