A few weeks ago I attended a conference for youth leaders. I was amazed at the music, the graffiti, and the excitement of every individual that was there. Each session was filled with contemporary worship and dynamic teaching that challenged and inspired everyone in the room.
One particular day, a poet walked on stage and commanded the crowd. With the backdrop of a full band that bounced colorful worship music off the walls of a packed auditorium, the poet stood still and spoke.
This simple yet powerful man spun words into sentences that tickled the ears and excited the conscious. Yet, there was a particular phrase that caught my attention and inspired this message.
With deep bravado, the poet held the mic closely and said, “When you increase your NETWORK, it will make your NETWORK, which will enhance your NETWORTH.
It rang loud and powerfully in my ear like the release of an air horn from a parent at their child’s high school graduation.
This is a message in three parts with a single theme of trusting God always.
Later, Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee.[a] This is how it happened. 2 Several of the disciples were there—Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin),[b] Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples.
3 Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.”
Jesus endured an unfair trial, died on a cross, was buried in a borrowed tomb, and got up from the grave three days later. Yet, it was an additional 40 days before Jesus’ ultimate ascent.
It was in those 40 days that Jesus made some incredible appearances. The Gospel of John tells of a time when the disciples were distraught over Jesus’ death and despondent over their next move. For three years they walked with Jesus witnessing miracles and loving the lost. Then their leader dies. The disciples disappear into their own seemingly unconquerable maze. The bible says that the disciples broke from their norm of ministry and within their own brokenness, went fishing.
What do you do when you experience a break in your plan? Where do you go when you don’t know where to go?
I met a kid who earned a full scholarship to play football. His tuition, his room and board - everything was covered. All he had to do was play ball when the season started. In my head, he had arrived and could coast until the school year. Nevertheless, after the season ended and the scholarship papers were signed, he continued to put work in work at the gym. He told me about another guy who received a similar scholarship to a different school. The difference was that his friend took a break as soon as the season was on break. Eventually his friend decided he needed to get ready for college football a short time before for his first college practice. His pre-college workouts were tough, he was sick, and every experience left him sore and uncomfortable.
Then, a thought hit me. Champions are made in the off season.
What we do when things are great is important however it is what we do and who we are in the lean/off season that will sustain and support us.
The disciples didn’t go fishing to hide from their problems, they went fishing to stay active until Jesus shared His next move. Jesus loves a moving target and in order for our faith to be fulfilled we must work. I like to put it this way, “When opportunity knocks, it is our responsibility to open the door.” Dreams are great for sleep but the successful ones actualize their dreams by continuously working on them.
Here is the close for part 1. Set backs should not dictate your faith. In your area of uncertainty, the best thing to do is get busy. Occupy your actions with efforts that push you toward your goals. It is a theory I call, “habitual effort.” Practice success. Look for a way to win or learn despite the score board. Your time is coming - will you be ready?