I would have been friends with Peter. The one from the Bible. Jesus picked 12 friends to do life with and I would have absolutely gotten along best with the hot mouth.
Impulsive. Loud. Quick to speak. Slow to listen. Can’t stop running his mouth kind of disciple, that’s Peter. And I would have gotten a kick out of him and his big mouth. I’m drawn to people who love Jesus but also have an appreciation for cuss words.
He was my kinda guy.
Peter fished for a living: a physical job, a job that even a skilled professional like Peter knew fishing’s outcome is often out of the fisherman’s control. And on a particularly defeating day, he meets Jesus for the first time.
Peter had already put in the work that day and put in his time. Casting his net over and over he had come up short when a stranger offers some rabbi-wisdom.
Jesus asks Peter to let down his net and get some fish. The same thing he had been doing all day.
This is the part of the story where had it been me, I would have rolled my eyes, put my sunglasses back on, and used some cuss words. I probably would have thrown my hands up a little too for dramatic effect. And even though Peter and I are probably the same Enneagram number, he doesn’t go that route.
No Peter responds with, I will. I will let down my nets. So he does and he reaps a harvest.
He had done the same movements over and over again, repeated those same motions, tied to the same exact hope, and he kept coming up empty. Then he listens to the man who simply asks him to just do it again. An annoying request, one I would have scoffed at, one even Einstein calls “insanity.”
Was he being asked to do the same thing, just one more time? To trust in the process? To trust in Jesus? All of thee above?
And what would Peter have done today? Because today, life is fast. It starts early and ends late. Days are filled with lists and goals. Living with any kind of intention means constant planning, it means thinking, and it means following through.
It’s often the same movements over and over again; Wednesdays are for this while Sundays are for that, and let’s make sure we do this… Moments of reflection or pause often seem like luxuries we only get to see on TV.
And our nets can appear empty. Even though we are doing the work.
I don’t have a friend in the world who isn’t dealing with the hard stuff right now. They are putting in the work and putting in the time, repeating the same motions that are tied to the same hopes. And they are coming up empty. Outcomes out of their control.
When defeat has moved in with us and we wonder if the harvest will ever come, maybe the answer is to just keep doing the work. To let down the nets, again. It’s the most annoying answer in the world. It’s one I want to scoff at. It’s one others will call crazy.
Maybe the answer is to trust like a foolish child, or like a hot mouthed Peter, that the work will eventually provide.
Maybe there is no quick cure to your hard stuff and continuing to let down the nets, is where your answer lies. Because slow progress, is still progress and defeat is never really final.
Maybe if a Jesus-loving-cussing-fisherman who trusted and reaped his harvest, you will too.
If your answer can be, I will. At your word, I will let down my nets. Trust. And reap my harvest.