On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, Jesus was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him. – Luke 5:1-11 [ESV]
“My, ‘Yes,’ is on the table.” That was his way of saying that when God spoke to him, he and his wife would automatically default to saying yes. They did that with their finances and giving. They did that with their recreational pursuits. They did that with the invitations from their church to volunteer for ministry. They said yes.
Sometimes they ended up getting in over their heads. Think junior high and high school youth mission trips, or Sunday School Christmas party. Then they looked for others who had a yes on their table as well. They looked for other people who had an inclination to say yes to helping out. They realized that their “yes” wasn’t a call to be a solo act. It was a call to be a part of something bigger – and better- then themselves.
Sometimes we mistake our yes to be a solo performance that we alone are singing. And sometimes we act like we think it’s easier that way. If we do it all ourselves we don’t have to rub shoulders with those who are wired differently than we are, and do things differently than we do, and require more relational capital than just pure work we ourselves do. And besides that, we can do it better ourselves, right?
Perhaps Peter thought that from time to time. But for now, his “Yes” was in his boat and he did what Jesus asked. There was no other reason given than, “because you say so.” And Jesus did say so. And Peter did so. And a giant harvest of fish was gathered. And he had to call for help.
Next time you are asked to do something for the sake of God’s kingdom. Put your “Yes” on the table. Open yourself up to the possibilities of doing a thing for the sake of God’s kingdom. And look for others to come along side you in the adventure of amazing harvest and ventures of faithful following.