As he walked along the shore of the Lake of Galilee, he saw two fishermen, Simon and his brother Andrew, casting their nets into the water. "Come and follow me, and I will teach you to catch men!" he cried.
At once they dropped their nets, and followed him.
Then he went a little further along the shore and saw James the son of Zebedee, aboard a boat with his brother John, overhauling their nets. At once he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and went off after him. (Mark 1)
In those five verses, in the calling of Peter, Andrew, James and John, what really strikes me is the image of the nets, their main tackle for their life-work as fishermen. It's what they're using, when Jesus first stops to watch them, to actually make a catch of fish; to provide for themselves and their families. It's what they're caring for, carefully mending, "overhauling," when Jesus walks up to James and John; their maintenance ensures their future livelihood. Really, these nets are their life. A fisherman without his net, in that day and age, was nothing. When these two pairs of brothers, on this one stretch of coast, drop their nets in the presence of Jesus, it is their highest expression of total self-abandonment. They will now source their lives in this Man rather than in those nets.
What is normalcy to us, today? What is "life" in our present context? Education; physical prowess; looks; charm; career; possessions; family; friends; reputation; honor; future legacy; family name? Let me help you. It's what we throw around to get what we need; to make sure this world knows "WHO I AM"; it's what we most attend to in order to ensure our future livelihood, position, personal comfort...
And THAT - our normalcy, our quickest self-definition, our Life - is what we must most quickly have down there at the feet of Jesus. A fisherman without his net was nothing. A disciple still holding his net is nothing too.
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