One of my favorite Bible stories is about a group of experienced fishermen who went out on a lake to fish on an inky black night. As time wore on, it became depressingly apparent that no fish were going to be caught in the net that night. The prospect of dragging the water logged net back to the shore was the only thing that separated the engulfing gloom from the faintly emerging rays of dawn.
As the three contemplated their misfortune, a voice emerged from the diminishing darkness and shouted out a question, “Gentlemen, did you catch anything last night?” Although they could barely discern the form, they responded by yelling back one miserable syllable…”NO”!
Most people would have shut up, for although misery loves company, most of us would prefer to leave it alone. But not this guy. Instead he offered an unsolicited word of advice. He told them to drag the heavy, soggy net out of the water and deposit in on the other side of the boat.
Amazing! Unbelievable! The guy was on the shoreline. Did he even know anything about catching fish? You wonder what went through the minds of the fishermen. Did they question the logic of a ridiculous command? After all, would it not have made more sense to make a suggestion about the stuff that everyone knows can affect a catch like…the fish aren’t biting because it’s the wrong part of the lake or you simply chose a bad day?
But to their credit, the fishermen obeyed. And the narration records an extraordinary moment! The text says that the fish rushed into that net that had moved location a grand total of a FEW YARDS with such force and vigor that the huge number of fish began to break the net. What a difference a 3 Yard Shift can make!
This story demonstrates the power of little shift. More often than not, the truly impactful moments in my life can be traced to ‘just one little thing’, a simple moment in time when I made a quality decision or took a deliberate action. While not all these moments have been good ones, many have had monumental impact in my life.
I’ve learned to respect the dawn of awareness and recognize the fact that profound revelations rarely occur in the limelight. In fact, some of the richest shifts have occurred in the dark nights when my life boat has found itself moored on a lake which seemed devoid of opportunity and reward for my efforts.
It is there that I’ve learned to value the voice of intuition and wisdom which comes from a place where my rules and limited perceptions failed to make sense. I found that they don’t matter. And as the dark scales lifted from my eyes, it becomes increasingly clear that the solutions have often been simpler and closer than I imagined.
So today, I’m encouraging you to set aside a few moments in your life to be open to a 3 Yard Shift. It will require humility. The sort that allows you to be open to guidance from unexpected sources. But, I promise you…if you will listen and obey the voice, guidance will come. For the solution is rarely about what’s out there; it’s more about the shift that comes from inside you…in your heart.
*this story is my paraphrased version of event. An exact rendering of the ancient text can be found here.