Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Genuine Coach February 7, 2014

A few bible stories seem to go more deeply into our interior than others, especially when the words and teachings of Jesus go directly to each person's core values or personal failures. Today's gospel, Luke 5:1-11, is one such account.

In life, very few have not felt the need for another person to serve as a coach, a mentor, a guide -- someone who has an extraordinary spirit that is evident at the first encounter. In my life there have been a few priests, a few laity, a couple of religious who have said a few words, beamed an unusually understanding smile or who have shared a personal story that helped me realize an extraordinary human being.

When Peter followed Jesus' suggestion to put out into the waters after a not so successful earlier attempt to catch a netfull of fish, he returned with a net near breaking. But Peter did not make a scene about the successful venture. He went down on his knees before Jesus. And why? Because his indirect questioning of Jesus' suggestion to return to the deep, he felt, revealed his lack of trust. He sensed himself as a failure. He realized he needed a coach!

Imagine what Peter experienced when he realized even much more: "I am in the presence of a true coach, a genuine teach, a friend. Peter must have looked at Jesus and realized "I am a man helped by someone whose goodness I want in my life." Peter experienced reassurance from another man whose character captured his heart and soul. Can't you hear Peter saying, "I need to work with this man."

Stop now! Consider yourself. What is therein your life you are seeking to achieve but which you just are not quite able to grasp for yourself? Do you continue the challenge to capture what seems elusive, doing it your way? At times don't you hear your inner voice saying "If only I had ...."

Again, recall the great moment when the world changed: the moment of your conception! At that moment of divine missioning, your God was expressing his genuine trust that you could achieve the purpose he was entrusting to you. Remember this: God did not and does not create failures. Despite all of his "failures," God did not abandon Peter. Look at a crucifix and let these words sink into your very being: Jesus, no matter what failures may be "on your record," will never give up on you. Why? Well, perhaps this may be one part of the answer: "Quitters never win; winners never quit!"