Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”And immediately they left their nets and followed him. Mark 1:16-18
Simon and Andrew could have been doing nothing better than fishing. God had gifted them as fishermen. And if they are anything like my husband, being outdoors and tinkering with fishing gear brought them life, both figuratively and literally. Catching fish was not only a thrill. It was their livelihood.
Jesus could have called these two game-changing men into His ministry any time. But He did it here. Along the shore of Galilee, doing what arguably brought them the most life. Fishing. He called them away from “good” so they could follow the Great.
This post was birthed in me two months ago. An afternoon early in September. I stood with my head in my hands leaning against the kitchen island, rubbing my temples, completely overwhelmed by the level of “life-giving” responsibilities on my to-do list.
Brent, my A+ problem-solving husband, leaned beside me, “Let’s write it all down. Let’s make a list of everything on your plate and see what I can help you do.”
“There’s nothing you can do. None of it can be delegated.”
All of my favorite hobbies were hitting at once. In the month of September, I was co-director of the 5K for my boys’ school, I was speaking at a women’s ministry breakfast that Saturday, I had just been added to the Beautifully Rooted contributor list and had a few deadlines to meet, my boys’ soccer and football practices were beginning that week (of course I didn’t want to miss that)… There was nothing to change or hand off.
“I love everything on my plate. It all brings me so much life.”
And the next words from Brent’s mouth I will never forget. Never.
“But then how is it,” he said, “that the things that bring you so much life, can bring us so much death. You are saying “yes” to so many good things, but saying “no” to the things that matter most.”
He was right.
All of my life-giving activities were great, but the weight of them all at once were making me a snappy, sassy, cranky, cry-ie, messy mom. I was there but not present. Often on my phone or typing on my computer. By saying “yes” to so much, I was saying “no” to my kids. “No” to my husband. “No” to my friends.
No to peace. Yes to crazy.
“You are right.” I said. “You. Are. So. Right.”
I sat in Brent’s words for a few days. Praying and asking God to help me make sense of all the “fish” on my plate.
Unlike Andrew and Simon, I didn’t feel the freedom to drop all of my nets just then. I had made commitments. It was important that I saw them to completion. But I resolved in my heart (and on my knees) that when all of my “yes’s” were finished, my answer would be NO.
No to busy. Yes to Jesus.
No to busy. Yes to my husband.
No to busy. Yes to my children.
No to busy. Yes to the holidays.
November. The month of No.
Just say NO…vember.
Sigh. I have waited so long for this day. My hands are a bit calloused from the tight grip on the net handle, but today I release it. My commitments have slowed or stopped. Halloween is behind us. The holidays are before us.
Jesus. Our precious Emmanuel.
I say YES to His Word And YES to His presence. I say YES to peace. And YES to quiet.
Yes! Yes! Yes!.
Today, I set down my net. And follow Him.
What is in your hand this morning? Are your nets full of busy? Can you set them down? And follow Him?
Imagine, if those two disciples said “yes” to fishing and “no” to Jesus. What they would have missed!
I refuse to miss anymore.
DO YOU HEAR ME BUSY!? NO! NO! NO!
This month will you join me in saying NO?
Lord Jesus, you know who this is for today. Stir in us a desire for You like never before. Draw us to Yourself and give us vision for the next two months. Let us see the nets in our lives that are full of so many “good” things. Let us say “no” to the good and “yes” to the great. You. Our family. Our spiritual growth. I ask a blessing over the holidays. I pray that spiritually we will never be the same again. Make us fishers of men, Lord Jesus. We say “yes” to You, today. Yes. In Jesus Name, yes! Amen.
Respond and Reflect:
What stirs in you today? Is this resonating with you? Share what’s on your heart…
Becky, this is such a timely and applicable post. As we gear up for the holidays, I know so many will be blessed by No-vember – me especially!! The holidays sometimes leave me feeling so depleted. Thank you!!
Oh Brenda! I am so glad!
Amen and YES to this!!! What a blessing this post will be! I love the thought of never being spiritually the same after this holiday season. Thanks for this Becky! God uses you through this blog. Love to you and yours this NO vember. 🙂
Thanks Ashley! Love you too!
Becky, this is so perfect! I just told my husband 2 days ago that I have to start saying no. It is so hard for me. Between my 2 little ones, husband, part-time job at our church, and volunteering at my son’s school, I just feel very overwhelmed and I neglecting home!! But I have such a hard time saying no when others need help. But I have already turned down volunteering in my son’s class in November and an extra day in the mobile meals schedule. Both important things but I have to think about my family responsibilities first! I am looking forward to reading this month:) and getting things back in order here!
Good for you, Amanda!
Oh, Becky, when you first gave us the “teaser” of NO-vember I was SO hoping this is what you were talking about. I have a hard time saying no to volunteering at my kids’ schools, and what’s leftover of me for my family is not a pretty sight. Also, I get myself so worked up trying to make Christmas perfect, but instead I turn into a grinch. 😦 I miss the forest for the trees. I WILL NOT DO THAT THIS YEAR!!! Thank you so much, Becky! I desperately need this, and my family deserves this.
“I get myself so worked up trying to make Christmas perfect, but instead I turn into a grinch!” Jenny! I do this too! NOT THIS YEAR! Amen! xoxo
You are an incredible person…thanks for being you!
Right back at you, JULIE! I adore you…
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