A Boat in the Water

They immediately went out, and entered into the boat.
That night, they caught nothing (John 21:3b WEB) 

For many years my family lived in the little town of Greenhills, Ohio. It’s a Greenbelt community setup by the government when I was a child. The city was surrounded by the trees and wonders of Winton Woods and protected from development that would extend its boundaries into the forest. A city surrounded by a belt of green. I loved living there. You could walk a few blocks and start exploring the creeks, forest and hidden valleys. 

Not only did Winton Woods contain woods but it also contained Winton Lake. We skated on the lake and ponds in the winter, skipped rocks across the surface and fished from its banks. Occasionally we’d have the chance to take a boat out on the lake. At one point in history there was a little paddle wheel boat adding an attraction for tourists.  

Years later, I was grown, our children were grown and our oldest son arranged for a family gathering on Norris Lake in Tennessee. Ten adults, five grandchildren under the age of four, one house and lots of food made for a joyful family gathering. We ate, we played games, we laughed and one day we went out on the lake. 

There were two boats to hold us all. I was captain of the pontoon boat. This floating family room was great for the little ones with its high rails and a roof covering half the deck. The other boat, captained by our oldest son, was a speedboat that ran rings around my slower pontoon boat. That didn’t matter. I was the captain of my ship! A big tube was attached to a long rope behind the speedboat where several members of the family climbed onto the tube to be dragged at high speed across the water. It was a blast. 

At one point we dropped anchor in a cove so those inclined could take a swim. Thanks to the lifejackets everyone, except me, took a dip in the lake. There was some concern on the part of the little ones about the water and a few cries of resistance. One granddaughter didn’t like the water because it wasn’t blue. She wanted to swim in blue water, not green water. Our son’s fiancé tried hard to convince her the water was fine. She even talked about Nemo as a possible resident of the lake but it just didn’t assuage our little granddaughter’s fears of the water that was the wrong color. 

After several hours of wind, heat and reflection on the water most of us were tired if not sunburned. The day was fun but it was exhausting at the same time. Eventually we dropped most of the family off at a dock near our rental home while a few of us returned the boats to their rental dock. By the time we drove back to the house we were more than ready for a good night’s rest. 

I can’t imagine the impact of being on the water all-day and working at the same time. A day on the water having fun was exhausting and I spent most of the day just driving the pontoon boat. I can imagine the exhaustion the disciples experienced after an all night session of net fishing on the Sea of Galilee. Then in the morning along came Jesus telling them to toss their nets one more time. And they did it! 

When I get exhausted, whether from physical labor or just having fun, the last thing I want is someone asking me to do something else. And that’s just what happens almost daily. Then I remember the results. The Disciples pulled in more fish in one toss than they had all night. Who knows what God will do when I put aside my exhaustion and respond to those around me? Perhaps He’ll use me to pull a net of seekers into His kingdom. I just need to be ready for that extra toss. 


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