Abandoned nets.

While I’m traveling, I asked some friends to answer a question: What’s the story related to Jesus that is most compelling for you? Today’s post is from Johanna Fenton.

“Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once… -Mark 1:17-18, NLT

Sometimes I think about how nice it would be to abandon my nets…that is, my profession. I know that sounds awful – and please believe me that I am not intending to do that in the near future. But, as my sister Becky once said, sometimes it’s nice to exchange one set of problems for another.

I might not mind exchanging one set of problems for another – one profession for another, even though if I were like those first disciples I’d have no clue what that other “profession” entailed or even what it was.

But my understanding is faulty. The disciples in their fishing profession were also bound to their family through that profession. They weren’t just abandoning fishing for fish (because – let’s be clear – there’s also something called fishing for people). They were abandoning their loved ones – maybe even a family tradition of fishing on the Sea of Galilee. How dishonorable!

Well, now that you present it like that, maybe I don’t want to exchange one set of problems for another…as maybe they’re not so…equal.

But that is the situation here.

Catching fish with nets is probably easier than fishing for people. Learning from your father is probably easier than learning from your Father and his Son.

A new family business you’re getting into…

But of course the truth is, my profession is bound up with my family. Take health insurance. Abandon my profession and suddenly I place my family in jeopardy.

So yes…the Lord can ask anything from us and anything will prove costly.

Lord, help us to be ready to hear your voice, though we can never fully be ready. Let us hear your voice calling – that is all we can hope for. Because if we don’t hear, then we don’t have choices to make and we don’t have an alternative path, which is what you offer.


Johanna helps people understand Bible translation in theory and practice and writes her way through lectio divina at blipofcheer.com.

One thought on “Abandoned nets.

  1. Paul Merrill

    Johanna, I appreciate how you mention the cost of following. Too often we are sold a message of how a life of ease is the ultimate end of all humankind – which does not seem to be reflected anywhere in the Bible.


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