By Kate Fraser
Imagine that you are a fisherman, from the moment you are born you are taught all the best fishing techniques, all the greatest places to fish, the best times to be on the water, how to tell if the weather is fair or too risky. You know everything one could possibly know about fishing. It’s all you and your family eat, sleep and breathe (not to mention smell, because fish are gross.)
You spend your entire life trying to catch as many fish for your family so they can have the best life. One day, after at least twenty years of being an adult fisherman, you spend the entire day on the water and you catch nothing.
It isn’t the first time this has happened, but that doesn’t make it any less devastating.
You think of what you will tell your family when you go home, what you will bring them for dinner having made nothing that day, the weight of the world is on your shoulders. As you get ready for the day to end, a man approaches you. Not only does this man ask you to stop what you are doing and take him out into the water so he can speak to this group of people following him, but once he is done speaking, he gives you advice on fishing.
Are you kidding me????
And even better, the guy is a carpenter! What does he know about fishing?
He tells you to cast your nets out to the deep. I can just see myself rolling my eyes, and saying, “Yeah, yeah OK crazy carpenter...whatever you say! I’ve only been out here the ENTIRE night, and ALL day, but sure since you are a carpenter, I’ll listen to you.”
Imagine casting your nets to the other side of your boat, out into the deep,
and slowly your nets begin to fill with so many fish that your boat starts to tip, you pull the net in and you realize there are still more fish coming, you grab a second net, that net fills completely as well. Before you know it, your entire boat is overflowing with more fish than you have ever caught in your entire career as a fisherman. You note that you have caught every single kind of fish known to man. In that moment you become the single greatest fisherman. You are on top of the world.
Yet, your heart still feels empty.
You do not feel like you have accomplished anything special.
This is exactly how I felt three years ago. I had graduated with a degree in Communications from John Carroll University and started a job just before senior week. When that job wasn’t what I expected and a family friend got me an interview at a radio station, I thought all my problems were about to vanish. This new job would supply all my happiness. I quickly learned that working in radio sales was anything but easy. I worked my tail off, cold calling, prospecting, making proposals, asking companies to spend their advertising dollars with us. After about a year and a half I finally got the hang of things, I reached my quota for the quarter well in advance, I landed two of my biggest sales in one week, I became just about as great as I had always wanted to be.
But I felt so empty. I didn’t feel like I was anything special.
At the same time I was volunteering at my parish as a core member for their Life Teen program. I had felt called to help with high schoolers and it was having a bigger impact on me than I ever thought. I heard this gospel, I heard the story painted above, and I knew.
God was calling me to cast my nets out into the deep.
He was calling me to trust Him in a big way. I was scared out of my mind, obviously, but I quit my job at the radio station and entered into ministry full time. I can’t even begin to explain the beautiful things I have witnessed in the lives of the teens, and in my own life, since making this decision. God has truly filled my nets, in overabundance.
All I had to do was listen to Him and trust that He would provide.
I still have days were I feel like I am nothing special, but I know that I have listened to God’s call and I will continue to trust Him. He has already done more than I could have ever imagined for me, why would He fail me now?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kate moved to Euclid, OH in 2013 when she discovered her passion of working with high school and middle school teens. When she isn't spending time falling in love with Christ, going for a run, traveling to new places, or hanging out with teens, she can be found shoving her face with copious amounts of tacos and guacamole. She also loves to spend time with her five nephews and two nieces, as well as the rest of her family.