Leave Your Nets?
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
Are you finding security and fulfillment? Do you ever think, "There must be something more" or "I'm not making much headway" or "I need healing"?
If so, you might take a look at the experience of Simon Peter, one of the disciples of Christ Jesus (see Luke 5:1-11). When he had been fishing unsuccessfully, Jesus said to him, "Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught." He answered, "Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net." The result was that the nets were filled with fish to the breaking point. Jesus said to him, "Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men." Along with two other fishermen, James and John, Simon Peter left everything and followed Jesus. They literally dropped everything - occupations, familiar surroundings, goals, nets, boats. Simon Peter became a follower of Jesus and a healer.
What would cause someone to do such a thing? Jesus embodied the Christ, God's message to humankind. His followers heard this message, and their lives were transformed by it. Simon saw the practical effect of following the teachings of Jesus in his own life.
Mary Baker Eddy proved that Christian healing is available to followers of Jesus today, too. She wrote: "Those, who are willing to leave their nets or to cast them on the right side for Truth, have the opportunity now, as aforetime, to learn and to practise Christian healing. The Scriptures contain it. The spiritual import of the Word imparts this power" ("Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 271). Jesus held a spiritual view of his fellow men and women and of the universe, the universe of God's creating. Christian Science, which Mrs. Eddy discovered, reveals that the Christ is present in every age. This healing and saving message reveals, and helps us to understand, that our true identity is not material and mortal, made of flesh and bones; it is spiritual and eternal, perfect and immortal. It is linked to God, who is divine Spirit.
Eddy found and taught how we can make Jesus' teachings practical in our own lives. Science and Health states that childlike receptivity to the truth in the Bible is essential: "The effects of Christian Science are not so much seen as felt. It is the 'still, small voice' of Truth uttering itself. We are either turning away from this utterance, or we are listening to it and going up higher. Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea. Gladness to leave the false landmarks and joy to see them disappear, - this disposition helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony" (Pgs. 323-324). This describes leaving one's nets. We have to be willing to leave the "old," matter-based view of existence behind and listen in prayer to what God is communicating about our perfection as His children.
Here is an example: A friend of mine, whose problems were overwhelming her, picked up her husband's copy of Science and Health. She was curious about what it had to say. Like those fishermen, she felt she had "toiled all night" (for 27 years, in fact) and had little to show for it. Her health was deteriorating. She had an upcoming appointment with a specialist regarding an internal physical problem.
Discovering that Christian Science involves a new way of thinking, she felt her spiritual intuition telling her she'd found answers to her problems; she had an insatiable thirst to go on reading Science and Health until she understood what those answers were. As she read, she learned that only the one God, who is good, has power. The belief that illness and material conditions had power over her fell away. "If something isn't good, it isn't real," she began to reason. And she began to lose her fear of disease. Then she realized that her health was not really a condition of her body at all. It was to be found in the knowledge of her relation to God. Health was, and is, hers by divine right.
Her fear began to fade. Four days into her reading, she "left her nets." She canceled her appointment, and within a few months her physical difficulties were healed through prayer alone. She, like Simon Peter, followed the teaching of Jesus. And she became a successful Christian healer.