Expect to be surprised

“Put out your nets for a catch.”

“But we have worked hard all night long and caught nothing.”

But they did it anyway and their nets were filled so full that they began to tear.

Often the greatest obstacle to change and growth in our lives is ourselves. There are the limits we impose on ourselves – I can’t do that, that’s not me, I wouldn’t have the ability or the energy. And there are our expectations – we expect things to remain the same, we don’t expect them to change, we no longer expect to be surprised. In a sense we put a full stop after so many areas in our lives and we assume they will always remain pretty much the same. Like the men in the gospel – they had fished all night and expected to catch nothing. But they were wrong.

I attended a course on counselling once and one of the things that was repeated again and again was that the most important stage was when you encouraged your clients to look at their choices, and that given encouragement people nearly always discovered that they had more choices than they had imagined: they just hadn’t looked at them or considered them before. We all have choices.

Someone once said that life is like an unfinished novel: all that’s written so far, up until this very moment, is finished, done, it’s written down and can’t be changed. But the pages of the future are blank, there’s nothing written in them yet, nothing is predetermined – it’s up to you what you write in them, it’s up to you how the story continues and how the story ends.

There’s a popular saying: Today is the first day of the rest of your life.  What are you going to do with it?

“Put out into deep water and pay out your nets for a catch.”

In whatever way you need to do it, that is his invitation. You can expect to be surprised by the result.