Casting our net to fill the void

I watched this man walk.
I watched this man
pacing the sand
scanning just under the water’s surface
looking for life…
for movement.

I watched him seek.
He searched the tide pools
and the open water …
water confined by sand shores
with shallow depth
vs water that is open for miles on end
going out so deep. very deep.

I watched him spot.
As he spied what he sought,
he stilled.
He stopped.
He prepared. I watched him ready.
He took the time to consider his tool.
He looked at his net,

making sure it was not tangled.
It was clean,
free of debris.
Then he lifted a weight to his mouth,
and gently put his hand within the net,
spinning it open
in preparation for a cast.
Surely the grit in his mouth
was unpleasant,
with a tinge of salt puckered his lips. I watched him cast….
each throw a little different from the one before….
the net opening more widely at times
than others.
With a bounty of catch in one throw
and sparse of fish in others
…  some casts
came back vacant.

But, he continued.

I saw him inspect.
Holding his net by it’s neck,
he quickly let the weighted bottom drop open
spilling trove across the sand
to be inspected
chosen
gathered
and saved.

I saw him cull….
throwing back into water
those scaled darlings that
needed time to grow.

Like Jesus spoke in parables, paralleling the spiritual and physical worlds, God convicts and teaches me through similar daily events.

As this fisherman
cast his net for bait fish
I thought about all the parallels
to our lives.

Each of us searches for something
to fill the emptiness.
God created within us a void
that only He can fill.
But, we scan the horizon,
we look just under the surface,
for movement.

Not knowing exactly what we need to fill that void,
we spy
we prepare
we cast.
We hope that our net will come back
full of bouncing life
that we can have the joy of picking what we want
and being fulfilled
to throw back the rest
for another time.

But, we walk, search and cast.

What a blessed gift we have … this emptiness.

Without it we would feel satisfied and complete.
Without it we would not search for Him.
Without it we would not
realize how much we need Him.

Like pain is a gift to our physical body
this longing is wondrous present.
Without it pain,
we would not know that we are being injured …
we would not know to move away from the fire
pull away from a pin prick
tend to a knife wound.

This void is a gift to our spirit.

People fill this void with
relationships, money, fame,
houses, travel, sex,
alcohol, gambling, food,
work, hobbies, exercise,
pornography, children, creativity………
even “religion” …. but not God Himself.

The list is unending.

Some of these things are good.
Some are not.
None truly fill the void…
only God can fill this void
and truly satiate
the hunger that is within it.

May we each truly consider
whether our life is
full
rich
nourished …
whether our void has been truly filled
with the One who created that emptiness in the first place
as a gift to keep us searching for Him.

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