4When Jesus had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.’
5Simon answered, ‘Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.’ 6When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break.
First I had to “put out a little way from the shore,” to go just beyond my comfort zone. Now, the challenge is to move further out beyond the “little way from the shore.”
Just “a little way from the shore” in the shallow water, the fishing has been fruitless. I work “all night long”, and catch “nothing.”
I am so familiar with this life of working hard nights and feeling there has been no benefit for my efforts. I have fished in these frustrating waters many times. Pushing and straining does not seem to help. The effort of fishing in the shallows is disheartening. The best strategies and schemes still come up short. Self-discipline and hard work are simply not the answer. Fishing in shallow water is fruitless and futile because the water is shallow.
The problem is not with my fishing technique. The problem is not that I am unwilling to work hard. The problem is that I am fishing in the wrong water. I need to hear the voice of Jesus calling me to “Put out into the deep water.”
“Deep water” is the place where the big fish swim. In the “deep water” I listen for another voice. I fish at the direction of the “Master”. I am no longer depending on my best technique, and my long developed muscles. Now I am fishing in tune with the force of life and love I see embodied in Jesus.
Fishing in “deep water” means shifting my whole operating system away from my own carefully worked out plans and strategies, to the directives of the Master. To fish in “deep water” is to fish in the deep consciousness of my connection with the divine and follow wherever that voice of truth may lead.
What does it take for me to leave the shallows and venture out into “the deep water”?