Monday, April 5, 2021

Cast on the right


After Christ was risen, His disciples were fishing on the Sea of Galilee. They had toiled all night and caught nothing. That morning they heard someone calling out to them, inquiring whether they had caught anything. After reporting that they had not, the stranger told them to cast their nets on the right side of the ship. They did so, and caught so many fish they couldn't hold them all. They then recognized that the One who had told them to cast on the right side was none other than Jesus Himself. (See St. John 26.)

Perhaps the fishermen thought the advice was silly. They had been casting their nets all night to no avail. What difference would it make to cast them one more time on the other side of the ship? But as soon as they did, they had success. What difference did it make? The difference was they did the same thing they were doing, but they did it the Lord's way.

So much of Christ's ministry was spent instructing and demonstrating to His followers how to do things the right way: the right way to teach, the right way to serve, the right way to worship, the right way to seek reconciliation, the right way to treat others. There are, of course, many things the Lord taught us not to do. But it is often the case that rather than stopping what we are doing altogether, we simply need to do it another way: the right way. His way.

The beauty of doing things the Lord's way is that it multiplies rather than limits our efforts. For example, Christ taught that those in positions of authority should be humble and seek to serve rather than to be served. That doesn't mean they can't teach or correct those under their stewardship. Rather, it means that teaching and correction should be done with love and genuine regard for those they lead and serve. And by showing that love and regard, they will be more likely to win their loyalty, which will in turn enhance their ability to lead.

There are many other potential applications as well. When our worthy goals aren't being met with success, it may be worth examining our methods, and considering if we are indeed doing things the Lord's way. A simple change in our approach may be all that we need.

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