Cast Your Net

I know we’re encouraged to focus on prayer, fasting and almsgiving during Lent, but what’s usually on my mind is…. Fish Fry! This year I had to ask: Could we do it? Should we? How can we do it safely? I really wanted to say, “yes!” but I knew it wasn’t just my “yes” that was necessary, but I needed a whole group of people that could help me reimagine this Lenten tradition and bring it to life in a new way.

And did I ever get that! From brainstorming the best ways to flow a drive-thru in our parking lot, to donating lemons from their trees, dishing coleslaw and tartar sauce into to-go containers, directing traffic, running tickets to the kitchen and food to cars, and reorganizing our kitchen to accommodate a new way of doing things… everyone who responded did so with the attitude: “It’s not going to be the way we were used to, but let’s figure out a new way to make it work!”

The whole experience was incredibly inspiring and reminds me of the story of Simon Peter and the disciples who were out fishing after Jesus’ resurrection. They weren’t catching anything and a man on the shore told them to try casting their net on the other side of the boat. They complied and the net became filled with so many fish that they were barely able to pull it in! Suddenly, they were able to recognize this man as Jesus!

My experience during Lent is helping me to view the pandemic through the lens of this story. Our lives have changed. They might even feel like they’re at a standstill. We might feel discouraged, disappointed, or even lost. So, we can keep throwing our nets out the same way we always have, hoping something will eventually change… OR… we can recognize Jesus in it all and hear his call: “Why not try something new? See what happens?”

If Lent is a season of reflection, Easter celebrates new life! During Lent… or the pandemic… where was God asking you to cast your net out on a different side of the boat? Is there something he’s still asking you to rethink or reimagine? Let’s make this Easter a season of responding to his call, recognizing where he wants us to learn, to grow, or to challenge ourselves to bring something new to life.

– Megan Popa