Thursday, January 21, 2010

Launch Out Into the Deep

When He had stopped speaking He said to Simon, "Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch" (Luke 5:4).

I recently had the privilege to visit the beautiful city of Freetown; a small city in Sierra Leone, West Africa that is wrapped by an ocean where individuals come as far as Asia to fish. While I was there I had the opportunity to visit the ocean and watch fishermen carry out their business. When we arrived, there were two groups of fishermen standing by the ocean shore pulling in their nets. I was so excited.

I always read in the bible about fishermen but never saw a live fisherman in action.

Immediately I asked them if I could take their picture. They gave me their permission only after I agreed to buy them something to drink. They explained that they had been there since 4 o'clock in the morning and the time was now about 2 PM. As I waited to see what they would catch, I enthusiastically offered to assist them in pulling the net from the ocean. I asked them how long it would take for the net to be completely pulled from the ocean. Their response was probably another 2-3 hours. The net they were pulling extended itself to a relatively deep part of the ocean. The deep is where the best catch is found.

As I waited, the first group of fishermen finally brought in their net. Unfortunately, however, they had not caught anything. I felt really bad for them. These fishermen had been working for the past 12 hours and caught nothing. Without a catch, they would not be able to provide for their families, nor for women in the market who depended on them to supply them with inventory. I thought maybe the second group would experience better fortunes, so I waited another hour and even helped to pull the net out of the ocean only to discover nothing but ocean dwellers and trash out of the ocean.

Wow, I now understood how Jesus felt as He saw Peter and his buddies having worked all night without a catch. He had compassion on them and offered them some assistance.

I asked the fishermen why they had not caught anything. Their response was that they had not gone deep enough. These fishermen were the locals; they did not have the machinery that would enable them to take their boats into the middle of the ocean, cast their nets and pull the net right there from the boat. As a result they have to extend their nets from the shore into the ocean as far as they could in hopes of getting the net as close to the deep as possible. What it would take for them to get into the deep is capital so they can invest in the machinery that will enable them to go into the deep. It costs to launch out into the deep.

This explains why Jesus' instruction to Peter was that he should launch his net into the deep. Though Peter was discouraged and uncertain about Jesus request, he nevertheless obeyed His instructions and was rewarded for it greatly. The deep is a place that extends far below the surface and is potentially full of danger.

Launching out into the deep requires double efforts and the willingness to take greater risks. It is moving beyond your comfort zone and what you are accustomed to.

Like the fishermen in Sierra Leone you may be currently experiencing low productivity or no productivity. You may be wondering what else you can do to change the course of your business or your life. You tried everything without results, and like those fishermen the lack of success for your business not only impacts you but your employees, your family and your vendors. What else can you do? Unfortunately it is during these times when entrepreneurs pull back, play it safe and protect themselves from further losses. However, this is the time when you should do the opposite. It is the time to launch out into the deep. Yes, revise your strategy, increase your efforts and give it all you have. If you keep doing what you have been doing you will keep getting the same results so you have to do something different.

The deep is the place of personal insecurity and require complete reliance on the Lord. Launching into the deep may require a greater spiritual commitment on your part, working longer hours, increasing your capital investment or making reductions in certain areas. Whatever the implication for your business, you cannot afford to stay in shallow waters. The deep is where the best catch is found.

Copyright © 2010 Patrice Tsague ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.

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