Following His Direction

John 21: 1-14
Acts 4:1-12 / Ps 118

Cast the net on the starboard side and you will find something.
(John 21:6)

In this life our labors are in vain
If we don’t follow God’s direction;
There’s nothing to lose, so much to gain,
If we strive to seek His perfection.

Jesus appeared again to His disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. Simon Peter, Thomas (Didymus), Nathanael, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not recognize Him. “Friends, have you caught any fish?” He called out to them. “No,” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Peter heard this, he wrapped his outer garment around him and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were only about a hundred yards from shore. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” Peter dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to them after He was raised from the dead. (Jn. 21:1-14)

Reflection

It may seem awkward going back to an old way of life or profession that we had abandoned after the new one we had been passionately pursuing did not progress as we had expected. Such was the listless disposition of Peter and the other apostles after the death of their Leader, Who had been their only hope for glory. They had gone back to their old fishing boat, and to their familiar fishing grounds, feeling good to be back in the old routine even if the whole night they had caught nothing. Dawn was coming as they headed for shore when the powerful voice of a stranger directed them to lower their nets on the right side of the boat. With nothing to lose, they did so, and were rewarded by a large catch too numerous to pull in. The significance of this huge catch was not lost on the beloved apostle John as he recalled the first time Jesus directed them to cast their nets a similar way, then made them fishers of men.

Without direction from the Lord, all our attempts to find meaning in life will amount to nothing. By our own plans and efforts alone, we will always come up empty. In all major decisions in life, I have learned that it always pays handsomely to lift them up to the Lord first before going into action. Everything in life belongs to the Lord, and we are just His stewards. Therefore, we must always ask His permission as well as His direction before we embark on anything. What is there to lose? A few minutes of consultation with the Lord in prayer or reading the Bible are all there is to it.

If we feel that our life’s journey seems to be lacking in direction, it is most likely that we do not meditate on Holy Scriptures as regularly as we should. The Bible is the ‘guidebook of life’ that God has handed down to us through His prophets and evangelists. By making it a daily habit to read scriptures, we can expect to know God more intimately and be led in the right paths with His decrees and ordinances, as well as be enlightened by the beautiful lessons of Jesus in His parables. We can also be assured of the Holy Spirit’s inspiration and guidance. If we make it a routine to consult God in prayer and scripture reading, we will discover that whatever we set out to do in life will never be in vain. In fact, as many of His followers have attested, it will always turn out to be a bountiful catch.

You have always shown us, dear Jesus, that You pour out bountifully whenever Your instructions are followed faithfully, whether in a wedding in Cana, feeding a great crowd in a wilderness, or fishing by the sea in Galilee. Direct us then, Lord, in everything we do, so that we may share in Your glory. Amen.

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