When I was younger I had no career map, no life plan, no goals and objectives. I had, and have, no university degree. I had, and have, little in the way of vocational qualifications. I used to talk about having attended the University of Life. But that assumes some qualification in knowing how to live properly – and I have yet to determine what “properly” means.
Not having a life-plan was frowned upon. It still is, I think. There is a common perception that to be a success you need a plan. So not having a plan means two things: I have no way of measuring success – and I probably never will be successful.
It took me many years to move past a feeling of slight inadequacy. To reach a place where “success” was not even relevant to living and loving. And – if there is successful living – for me it is that: to live unshackled from what society says I should be. To be unshackled and free to be who I am.
“Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea–for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.“ Mark 1:14-20
I will make you fish for people.
When I was growing up the version taught used “fishers of men”. But I think this version is more honest. I will make you being an external intervention. I will “be made” – I will become something I wasn’t and – perhaps – never would be. Fish for people is a real and “in the present” activity. Something I will do and am doing and did do. And how do I “fish”?
Looking around there is commercial/industrial fishing. There is offshore, inshore, net, line, net, rod, long-line, professional and hobby fishing. Which one do I do – and how do I measure my success in the doing?
And immediately we are back to life-plans, goals and objectives and the measure of success we impose on so much of our living: numbers. How many, and over what time period? What frequency over what time period? Is the trend up or down? And what qualifies as a “catch” as opposed to “the one that got away”?
”I will change your life and your perception of success, I will invite you to live a life where so much of what you have been taught I will unteach. I invite you to follow me without having a clue what that entails, what recompense you will receive, or through which way-points you will journey. I invite you to see people for what they are, who they were and who they can become. I invite you to follow me and allow yourself to become something you never thought you could ever be. I will make you find the elusive “fish” of your own soul deep within. I will make you become the person you never thought you could be.”
What more can I give than me?
Or is “success” how many souls I “save”? What more precious gift can I offer than everything I am? Or is it more “precious” to “give” everything I have … but not everything I could do …? Is it more precious to target everyone I can net and save … to work tirelessly … to measure how much and how often … but not to give “me” … to not give everything I Am?
I will make you fish for the person you could become if … the person you would love to be if … the person you never knew was possible unless … I can make all of this real if … you allow.
Why do we make it all about you when it is really all about me?
You are my “success” –
I Am the greatest gift.