“Maybe it’s time to take an honest, objective inventory of how your life is working.”
Not everything that you try will succeed. There will be times when life just doesn’t seem to work the way you wanted. When that happens what do you do? Some try harder; some try to figure out what they’re doing wrong; some just stop trying, while others stop and ask for help. When you are working hard but it’s not productive, what will you do?
Too many people just keep doing the same thing thinking it will all magically work somehow. I read a clever and practical description of futility that makes a lot of sense, “Futility is doing the same thing again and again, each time expecting a different result.” You can see why that doesn’t work, if you are doing the wrong thing to begin with. Now I believe in tenacity, toughness, and perseverance, but those qualities are futile if you are not doing what is right and what God wills and can bless. Life is too important to spend yourself for little or nothing.
That’s a good thing to examine about your life every once in a while. Does your life work? Is your business profitable – your career advancing – your marriage growing – your children healthy and happy – your relationships uplifting – your spiritual life deepening? If not, it may be time to take honest, objective inventory and see where to better invest your time, efforts, energies, and resources. Life is too short to waste any of it.
After the disturbing death of Jesus and the confusing rumors of His resurrection, a few of the disciples have gone back to what they know best, fishing. It was familiar and a lot safer than the recent events in Jerusalem. Former hopes and plans in disarray, and everything about life at the moment very uncertain, they chose to go back to what they once did well. Read John 21:1-19.
After fishing all night, they had nothing – zero! – to show for their efforts, except for tired bodies, sore muscles, empty nets, and wasted time. Verse 1-3. Sometimes what used to work for you won’t work for you because it isn’t within God’s assignment for you today.
Here’s what you can learn from this story about times when life isn’t it working out for you. Jesus will show up where you are and when you need Him most, when you recognize that what you are trying so hard to do won’t succeed. Verse 4-5. Jesus knows why your life isn’t working, and has the answer for what will. Verse 6. You can come to Jesus for help. He knows exactly what to do for life to work best. “Throw your net on the right side of the boat!” It was so simple for them to do, yet so miraculous in its result. It’s not that hard to spend your life on the “right side” instead of on the “wrong side.” And your results are a lot better in this life, and eternally.
Jesus wants to see you succeed beyond your abilities. Verse 7-8. When Jesus directs your life, it works! Invest yourself where God can bless all you do. Waiting for you, Jesus has what you are trying so hard to earn on your own. Verse 10-13. Think about this for a moment. Jesus overcame death victoriously for you and me. Verse 14. If he can do that, He can do anything! See Ephesians 1:17-21.
My prayer for you today is to spend your life doing only what God can bless.