Perhaps you know the biblical story about how Jesus comes upon a group of fishermen at the Sea of Galilee who aren’t having any luck catching fish.
After discovering their plight Jesus says to them: “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” And, as the story goes, when they try the other side of the boat they catch so many they can’t haul them all in.
Now the skeptical among us are likely quick to note that you have to be a pretty lousy fisherman to not figure this out for yourself. And you certainly don’t have to be a divine figure to come up with this rather obvious advice.
Yet despite my particular spiritual affiliation and general level of cynicism–spoiler alert: it’s high–I find the underlying message to be a strong one.
All too often, we get so stuck in habitual patterns that we fail to see the obvious. We return to the same practices and methods well past their point of effectiveness. We stay in relationships that, at best, aren’t growing and, at worst, cause unhappiness and resentment. We go back to the tried and true, because that’s what we’ve always done and it’s scary to let go and be willing to try something completely different.
It seems to me, sometimes we’ve had our line in the water in the same place for so long we don’t even notice we haven’t gotten any bites in a really long time.
HT to the Reverend Daniel Kanter for the sermon that inspired this post.