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There’s a story about a crew of fisherman who fished all night long, casting their nets into the sea, to no avail. They fished and they fished and they fished, and nothing happened.

A man called to them from the shore. It was Jesus, but they did not recognize him. He told them to cast their nets one more time. Likely they scoffed. Don’t you know we’ve been casting our nets all night? Don’t you know we’re trained professionals? Don’t you know this sea just isn’t producing? But, what’s crazy, is that they did just what the stranger on the shore told them to do. They cast their barren nets into the unproductive sea one more time, and their catch was so great, their nets began to break as they hauled them in.

I think this story is about one of two things. It’s either about the product, or it’s about participation.

I always want to believe that if I participate perfectly enough, then the product will turn out perfect too. That’s likely because I’m a bit of a striver. You know the type: “I can be perfect. I can do things perfectly. I can achieve perfection.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve found that this is really not a helpful way to live. This isn’t really how life goes. Sometimes we “do everything just right” and we “try really really hard” and our efforts don’t produce. Like the fisherman.

What then? Often, we’re strung out, and slightly worn out from all the circles we’ve been running around ourselves. It’s easy to question our ability, our proficiency, our reliability, especially when we are not seeing the results we had hoped we’d see.

I have been thinking about those fisherman a lot lately. Their story. Their efforts. Their disappointment. The call from the shore. Their participation. And I’ve come to believe that the story is about re-investment, about casting our nets one more time if God asks us to. Even if, and this is the kicker, it doesn’t make perfect sense.

If God is calling to you, asking you to cast your net one more time, I think it’s important. I don’t think a full net is as important as empty hands that have offered back to God that which he has called us to offer.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE RESULTS. Who doesn’t. But perhaps it’s the participation, not the product, that God is concerned with.

keep = continue showing up bravely and

casting = offering

your = no one else’s

nets = what God has put in your hands

The word “offering” implies a sacrificial element So it follows that our offering is not something we come by easily. It’s something we fight for. It’s something that costs. You can’t really offer something and keep your hands on it. You’re giving this love, this creation, this artistry, this contribution, this dream . . . away.

Doesn’t it makes sense that real, enduring purpose comes from sacrificially giving back to God what he has put into our hands and trusting that what is meant to come back to us will, in fact, come back to us?

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So we put our butt in the chair one more time and write a paragraph or two. We show up to the counselor’s office one more time in order to keep offering our marriage to God. We reach out to God one more time because the dialogue always matters. We listen one more time. We hope one more time. We believe one more time. We trust one more time. We care one more time.

If he’s asked us to.

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Brazen releases in less than [ONE] week — April 5! You can pre-order your copy now on Amazon and B&N or wherever books are sold. When you do, I’d love to send you a thank you gift in the mail just for pre-ordering. Go here, fill out the form, and I’ll send you a signed bookplate and a decal with a quote from Brazen . . . just my way of saying thank you so much for your support!!!

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