By Brad Bloom, Publisher
He called, “Any fish, boys?” “No,” we replied. Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get plenty of them!” So we did, and couldn’t draw in the net because of the weight of the fish, there were so many!
When my wife and I moved to Coastal Virginia several years ago we looked for a place to rent. God graciously gave us something that exceeded our minimum expectations and eclipsed our hopes. We didn’t have to be satisfied with compromise – We tasted of God’s fullness. The historical two-story farmhouse has a foundation that pre-dates the Revolutionary War. It is in a quiet community on a cul-de-sac on a peninsula lot three times larger than the others surrounded by water. It is fully furnished, move-in-ready down to silverware in the drawer. Round out the amenities with a dock that leads to the open waters and an in-ground pool AND monthly rent that made everyone ask, “That’s all?” We were blessed with much more than an amazing view. We gained some good friends and some great experiences.
One experience was the pre-dawn droning of a fishing boat that passed every morning outside the window headed to the Chesapeake Bay. It reminded me of the song lyrics we used to sing in church, “Early will I seek thee – Early will I rise – Early will I come to know thee.” Though the results of the catch varied from day to day and throughout the season, the captain of this ship was faithful. He knew an early start, persistence and consistency were keys to an overall good harvest.
Fishing is a way of life for many here. It can be a tough physical workout requiring strength, stamina, and endurance. For others, like me, it yields more than just fresh seafood. The life lessons are abundant. Most of us are not fisherman. But, we all, I believe, start each morning with a goal – a driving need to make some net gains. We all cast our nets in faith.
The lessons Jesus taught always go beyond the physical into spiritual depths that require us to think differently, work differently and network differently. Ultimately God wants you to do much more than build your mailing list, drive your brand, get likes and relentlessly pursue creating your own success. He wants you to invest some genuine sweat equity in the lives of others.
Let’s be honest, God’s idea of sweatworking goes way beyond you intentionally multi-tasking your social life with a good workout for personal gain. He wants you to get dirty, get desperate and discover the profound intensity of living life for Him as if you’re in a Spartan Race.
Someone working out next to you today may or may not exercise like you. You may be vegetarian while they eat soul food. The agendas, expectations and outcomes may be vastly different. One of you may passionately believe in God while the other defines life from a very different perspective. We’re all on the same team – the human race. Christians can make work, school, the marketplace or the gym a better place when they aren’t satisfied with compromise, but instead take risks and taste of God’s fullness.
Bring faith and fitness together to build strong relationships. You can observe, listen, learn, share, speak, instruct, surprise and serve. At the end of each day, don’t just make an accounting of all the positive and negative influences. You have the chance to make some real gains – ‘NET’ gains. That’s big – real big!
Train strong in Christ,
Brad Bloom, Publisher
This article appears in the October/November 2016 issue of Faith & Fitness Magazine. Use the CONTACT US link to bring Publisher Brad Bloom to your church, gym or other community gathering to share this or other messages from his Publisher's Letters.