There's some big news in BC this week that has nothing to do with the HST or possible recall initiatives. In a summer that has featured some fascinating political developments, unprecedented heat waves and forest fires, we have been unexpectedly blessed with the largest Sockeye Salmon run since 1913. As I write this 25 million fish are starting their journey up the Fraser river to return the streams of their birth.
What makes this really fascinating is that NO ONE expected this. The government didn't know it was coming, the scientists didn't know it was coming and the fishing industry didn't know this was coming. What makes this even more interesting to me is that a year ago, the run was almost negligible. The fishery didn't open, fishing boats remained tied up at the dock and processing plants remained empty.
It might be the preacher in me, but I can't help but think how similar this is to what happened in Jn.21. The disciples have gone fishing. They have worked all night and caught nothing. No bites, no nibbles, no fish....
They are close enough to shore to hear the question that every fisherman dreads. 'Have you caught any fish?'. You don't ever want to have to say 'no' to that question, but in this case, they didn't have much of a choice. The person asking the question told them to cast their net on the other side of the boat and that they would find some. It seems a rather ridiculous suggestion in the sense that if there had been no fish all night, why would they suddenly catch some on the other side of the boat? I doubt that there was a lot of expectation in the next toss of the net. After a night with no success, how much could you really believe that anything different was going to happen?
Can you imagine their shock when they started to pull up the net and discovered that it was full of fish? No one saw it coming. There was no reason to believe that it could or would happen. But it did happen and the disciples quickly realized that GOD was on the scene.
Sometimes, we find ourselves in a place just like the disciples. We have fished all night and caught nothing. The temptation is to quit, pack it in and admit defeat. But somewhere there's a voice that says, toss the net on the other side. Don't quit. Listen to the voice and toss the net one more time on the OTHER SIDE of the boat!