No coffee yet. This morning I am sitting here with a green smoothie before I have my coffee. It has been my pattern recently. A healthy way to start the day but all the while I am yearning for my coffee. For me, coffee is breakfast.
Reading the 21st chapter of John this morning, I was focused on the breakfast scene. Jesus standing on the water’s edge calling out his order for breakfast. He wanted fish! The only problem was that a group of the disciples had been fishing all night and had yet to catch anything. Apparently that was not going to stop Jesus. Fish was on the menu.
Jesus had the disciples throw in the net “on the other side” and they did. Breakfast was served. This simple act had enormous results. The amount of fish brought in by the nets was almost too much for the nets to hold. They had found success. Do you ever wonder why? What was so different that time?
Well the obvious answer is Jesus, yet I think it goes a little deeper than that. There is actually two reasons the disciples were able to bring in that many fish that morning. The first is of course Jesus. They were obedient to Jesus even though they did not know who he was at that moment. They heard the voice of the shepherd and heeded it.
The second reason I believe is because they were willing to try something new and fail. They had already been fishing all night. They were tired and it was an unsuccessful night. Yet they were willing to try again and even fail AGAIN. Think about that for a second. Are you willing to do that? Are you willing to fail? We look at failing as the end, yet many realize a failed attempt is a learning tool. The disciples knew not to throw the net back on the SAME side that night.
What can you learn from failing?
In the he authorized biography Edison: His Life and Inventions (the first edition of the book is 1910), quotes Edison’s friend and associate Walter S. Mallory about experiments on storage batteries:
“This [the research] had been going on more than five months, seven days a week, when I was called down to the laboratory to see him [Edison]. I found him at a bench about three feet wide and twelve feet long, on which there were hundreds of little test cells that had been made up by his corps of chemists and experimenters. I then learned that he had thus made over nine thousand experiments in trying to devise this new type of storage battery, but had not produced a single thing that promised to solve the question. I said: ‘Isn’t it a shame that with the tremendous amount of work you have done you haven’t been able to get any results?’ Edison turned on me like a flash, and with a smile replied: ‘Results! Why, man, I have gotten lots of results! I know several thousand things that won’t work!'”
Failure isn’t the end when we follow Jesus, giving up is.